07 November 2013

{It's Been Real}

As many of you already know, at the beginning of the year I quit my cozy consultancy job to pursue a full-time Masters degree.  It was a difficult decision and Jurgen and I went back and forth on whether it was the right choice up until minutes before I had to offer the university my final commitment.  In addition to the financial implications, due to the fact that this degree is completed within a year, we were worried about the effect that it would have on my work-life balance and on our relationship in general.

{Some of my classmates on an earlier trip to Soweto}

This year has been tough.  Quite possibly the toughest in my 26 years of life thus far.  The transition from being able to comfortably make car payments back into a 'starving' student was quite an adjustment in and of itself.  But more than that, the sheer workload and intensity of the course content was inconceivable.  

Because of the emphasis on psychology in industrial psychology, we were intentionally picked apart this year, forced to examine our deepest beliefs and values down to their core, and then ever so slowly pieced back together again, new and amended versions of ourselves.  Our strengths were highlighted, right alongside our weaknesses and we had no choice but to openly acknowledge those parts of ourselves that had been tucked away in the comfort of denial for so many years.  

Yet somehow, we've all come out the other side for the better and the year has almost come to a close.  The forty-hour weekly class sessions have officially ended, and we've submitted close to sixty papers for thirteen modules, all the while chipping away at our dissertations.  Dozens of sleepless nights, several tearful breakdowns, and countless personal victories later, here we are in November, and it all seems kind of surreal.  

As I handed in my final assignments last week and walked out of my oral exam yesterday, I found it hard to believe that we're really nearing the end.  Just one little dissertation stands between myself and graduation.  As Jurgen and I celebrated over dinner last night, we agreed that this journey has both been more and less difficult than what we expected.  It was unbelievably hard, and yet we still somehow managed to make it work, all the while having some fun in the process.

That being said, I'm excited to transition back into normal working life again and will be starting my internship in January.  This year has definitely also had a huge impact on the attention that I've been able to devote to this blog and I'm looking forward to investing in my little piece of the internet again.

A tremendous thanks to all of you who have offered comments, emails, tweets and messages of support throughout the year and also to those who have continued reading despite frequent periods of radio silence on my side.  You're the best.

Masters... it's been real.

35 comments:

  1. You did it! You survived! And I'm sure very successfully. CONGRATULATIONS. A master's degree is no easy feat. xo

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  2. Congrats! Oh man, I remember those tear filled nights. Savour the last of your dissertation, and best of luck in your internship!

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  3. congrats Jenna! i'm sure your hard work will be paid off. meanwhile, good luck with your dissertation :)

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  4. What an accomplishment!! Congrats! I love reading about your adventures. My husband and I fell in love with each other in Namibia, and we miss Africa all of the time!

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  5. Well done for sticking with it and making it to the end. I'm studying for a BA while I work full time and sometimes I find the commitment far too much. I think giving up your job to focus solely on study is such a brave step, but so entirely worth it.

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  6. oh jenna, i had a similar experience with my masters. the emotional rollercoaster of convincing yourself you can do it, feeling like it's beyond you, and then deciding to go for it (time again) is taxing, but at the end of the day - so very worth it. i finished this past august, and i'm so grateful that i stuck to it, and, perhaps even more so, that my husband encouraged me the entire way :) congratulations to you, dearie :)

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  7. Congratulations Jenna! I'm seriously impressed that you did it all in a year...I see how hard Robert had to work for his, and he had over two to finish it up. It's meant to be heard, but that just means you get to celebrate now! Good luck on your dissertation my dear! xoxo

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  8. EEEEEEEK CONGRATULATIONS!! This is so exciting. I cannot believe you were in 40 hours of school/week + assignments. Rockstar!

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  9. Congratulations!! What a great accomplishment!!

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  10. Cool! Oh man, when I read the title of the blog I was like, aww man she's quitting blogging....lol

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  11. YAY! So glad you're in the final days! Congratulations, Jenna!

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  12. eeeeee you're close to the end!! congratulations! that makes for a great Christmas present, right? :) and best of luck finishing off your dissertation and everything!

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  13. Wow. You did this all in one year? You're awesome, lady. Congrats!

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  14. Good job for getting through the year, you rock!

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  15. CONGRATS!!! i can't imagine the struggle of this past year but how accomplished you must feel now!

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  16. WELL DONE!! and CONGRATS (Caps deserved!)

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  17. Congratulations!! That must be an amazing feeling!

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  18. yay yay!! congratulation my dear!!!!

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  19. Oh grad school.....the scars you inflict. :-) the one good thin about it being so hard though, is the amazing sense of accomplishment you feel when it's over! Congrats!

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  20. congratulations on taking that huge step! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  21. This definitely sounds like a very, very intense time! But I'm sure that you won't regret the experience and I'm glad you came out of it as a stronger person! :)

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  22. Congratulations! That's wonderful and so exciting :) Psychology anything at a grad level is HARD WORK. Good for you for sticking with it! xoxo

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  23. WOO-HOO!!! You did it girl! BIG CONGRTS to you! xo

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  24. Wow - that sounds challenging - well done for getting through it.
    Deciding to stop working and start studying is a tough & brave choice!

    Pity we missed you at the JHBBloggerMeetup. Looking forward to meeting you soon!

    Cocktails & Memories
    http://cocktailsandorgies.blogspot.com

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  25. Wow, this sounds like such a great program! I'm in the process of applying to graduate school and I am so nervous, but so ready to be back in a higher ed environment. I just know that's where I belong!

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  26. Congrats on such a wonderful accomplishment! You give me hope and excitement as I near the end of my Masters as well. Six more months to go. Hope you had a great evening celebrating! xo Moe

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  27. Congrats, sounds like such an exciting time in your life.

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  28. Woohoo!!! A mega fist pump from me to you! Congratulations on all your hard work--what an accomplishment!

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  29. Congrats!! That is amazing! Now working is going to feel super easy after all that hard school work!

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  30. I can't bealieve it's been a year already! way to go! so proud of you!

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  31. Woot! Go you!!! I know you've got to feel pretty darn accomplished having that behind you now! Kudos, my friend!!

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  32. Congratulations, must be excited for the future! :)

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  33. miss you friend!!! hope the internship this year rocks!!

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  34. CONGRATULATIONS! You educated woman you!!!!!! That is amazing.

    <3 Daryl
    Unlost

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Thanks for commenting! I love reading each and every one of them :)