So, a fellow grad student who has been cutting class for the last two weeks has withdrawn from the university. My mom and I were talking on the phone and I told her that the only difference between that student and me was my own refusal to quit.
My first semester of grad school was incredibly disillusioning. I didn’t like several of my classes and it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. Couple that with the fact that everyone questioned my decision to pursue musicology as being worthless and you end up with a struggle to stay motivated. I want to do something with my life. I want to help make a better world for people. But right now my job is my degree. Even though my degree is in musicology I can still use it. Music, and the Arts in general, should be available for everyone. If I can be a part of that then I do feel like I’m making a difference. And there is plenty to get involved with that will still allow me to complete my degree.
My point is that I know how this other student felt to some degree. This student dealt with her feelings by withdrawing from school and joining an organization that helps disadvantaged people. I’m dealing with it by volunteering at local organizations and finishing my degree. Is one better than the other? I don’t think so. In another time and place I might have quit too. But I was born with a tenacity that won’t let me quit. And honestly, the desire to not quit, to keep going, is often the differing factors between people too. The star athletes aren’t just the ones with the talent, but the ones with the drive that doesn’t let them quit.
Just do it. Never give up. There are tons of catchphrases about not quitting. The point is, that at some point, every job becomes dissillusioning. Everything eventually either becomes routine or burns you out. And the difference between success and failure – tenacity.