My first week of graduate school is now in the books. I’m happy to say that I love my program so far. I feel some relief in knowing that after two years, three graduate placement exams, and changing my mind over and over and over again, I’m in a program that’s right for me.
That’s not to say that I haven’t experienced drawbacks as well. I can’t remember another time in my life when I’ve been so tired. But the point of this post is not to brag about how busy I am, which is, as we’ve established, stupid. I’ve recently realized, as the product of a conversation with my “work bae” Jenna (who is infinitely more dedicated to her schoolwork, workout regimen, and many volunteer activities than I can ever dream to be), that this fatigue I’m feeling will never end. At the rate I’m going, it’ll take me three years to graduate from my program because six credits a semester is all I can afford to do. Once I graduate, Scott and I will probably try to have kids. And if I find working full-time while in a graduate program to be exhausting, I can’t imagine how exhausting it will be to have kids: sleepless nights filled with crying and bed-wetting and nightmares. And then there’s all the stuff that the kids will do at night!
The older and busier I get in my career, the older and busier the kids will get in their lives too. And while I’m sure all the things I will be invested in in my life–both personally and professionally–will be fulfilling and worthwhile, I can’t help but think: “Wow. This run-down, exhausted feeling I have? It’s never going to go away. Not while I’m a productive member of society, that is. In fact, it will probably just get worse.”
Sometimes the physical limitations of being human really frustrate me. There are so many things I would do with my time and energy if I just had more of it! And while I harp on people who make excuses for not doing the things they should, in reality, I understand. We all do, to an extent. My alarm rings at 5 AM on Tuesday morning prompting me to get up and go to the gym, but I was in class until 10 PM the night before. It just seems impossible to get up, even though I know other people do it every day. My body is crying out for rest. How do I draw the line between giving my body what it craves, or forcing myself to postpone it and do something good for me like exercise? Are we all taking on too much, or am I just lazy?
In reality, the answer is this: If you are an adult, you’re going to be tired all the time. Forever. Might as well get used to it. You’re never going to want to do anything worthwhile–get up and put on your best face at work, spend time with your significant other/children/family members, socialize, get an education, get out of your comfort zone, get and stay healthy–but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Fatigue is what it is, a byproduct of anything that is worth doing. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it, and know that if you’re tired it means you’re at least doing something.
P.S. Here is a link to where they sell 5-Hour Energy in bulk.