I have now officially joined the ranks of the undead. The hordes of PhDs, postdocs, and even professors who, even though their time may be up, simply refuse to expire.
University life is seldom clean cut. Schedules are sketchy, events are prone to last minute rearrangement and cancellation, times always overrun, things are likely to finish later and people? Well, people are no different. As the old adage goes, trying to organise a group of academics is like herding cats.
Ask anyone. They’ll know someone who’s still been there despite the fact that they should, by all rights, be elsewhere by now. Postdocs who stay for months after their funding is depleted. Emeritus professors who haunt the hallways, unwilling to leave science for what most would consider a peaceful retirement. And postgrads. Sometimes the desk of a postgrad will be left untouched, as if in respect of their passing. Other times, a new postgrad will move in to where their old desk was, as all they can do is watch. Whether you like the ghost analogy or not, it’s really oddly fitting. They walk among us. And now I suppose I walk among them. My time has overrun, and my funding is exhausted.
I can, at least, sign a form and be officially registered here until I’m done (the fabled “thesis pending” period). And there’s no one waiting to evict me from my desk. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am indeed done. I have numerous job applications to send off, both for temporary income while I finish writing the thesis and those all important silver-lined first postdoc jobs. Freelancing would be helpful too. I’m still optimistic, though I think this coming month may be… difficult. That is, more difficult than recently. As much as I’d rather concentrate on the all-important task of thesis writing, the past couple of weeks have seen me having to divide my attention. This particular distraction is not especially welcome, if I’m honest, but it’s a necessary evil.