Today I officially turned in my completed/updated Masters Thesis to the Graduate School for what amounts to my final official step as a Masters Student. Technically, I will remain a Masters Student until May 14th (graduation day), and will continue working on the manuscript version of my thesis, but as far as official school work...I am now done. It is kind of a weird feeling. I went to the school copy center and ordered 2 bound copies of my thesis (one for myself and one for my advisor) and it felt a little underwhelming. I think back to the all-nighters trying to finish math modeling projects or dynamics labs, and it all culminated with a 30 second handover of a signature document to the graduate school. As I stood in line at the copy center putting my order in for the bound copies, I couldn't help but think, "now what?".
I found that since getting back from Antarctica, I've been quite under-motivated....been in a bit of a funk. I have a really good feeling about this year, but it seems I'm having a hard time convincing myself of it. I am waiting to hear back from graduate schools on PhD programs and am actually excited about the prospects of another 4-5 years of school. It's just that right now I feel a little bit in limbo.
On a non-school note, I did not get into any of the ultra lotteries or selections that I applied to, so I am very unsure of my running plans. I sincerely hope to take a little time this summer to clean my slate again before starting school, but that will depend on where I go. (ie if I stay at Penn State, I may have to go to the Ice Core Lab again in July).
So...as I sit here in my office at school and I reflect over the past 3 years I have decided it's time to get motivated and time to get excited about the future. I have closed one chapter and need to start thinking about the next one seriously. The past three years went by very quickly. I come out of that time with a Masters Degree from a great university and the experience of working for some true luminaries in the fields of ice and climate science.
I guess I'll take a deep breath, pat myself on the back for now for accomplishing what I set out to, look ahead, focus my thoughts, and as always say, "Bring it!"
2010....I am going to knock your socks off.
As a side note, I went back and watched this video I made right after completing the Appalachian Trail in 2007. When I made this video I was also closing a chapter and completing a goal that I set for myself....much like today. Thinking about today, it's nice to know that I was able to set another goal for myself (complete a Masters) and accomplish it. Add to that the fact that I had amazing side trips to Colorado, New Zealand, Antarctica, and made some incredible new friends along the way, and I'd say I've been pretty blessed.