I feel guilt on Saturday. Although, in general, I feel guilty (must be the Catholic upbringing), I experience it even more so on Saturday. Waking up late at 8:30 instead of 6:30 and bumming around until noon, then maybe doing some school work and grading papers is starting to take its toll on me. Not because, suddenly the semester is coming to a close and I realize, “holy shit” I have a lot of crap to do, but because I realize how much more productive I could have been.
Yes, I’ve taken some Saturdays off, maybe too many, and today I’m even going to indulge in dinner and movie with some friends (oh my God I’m so excited to see “Twilight”). Here’s the thing though, by saying “taking a Saturday off” I don’t mean, sleeping until 1 and then nursing a hangover. I mean instead of grading and maybe working on some fiction, it’s only grading half of the “beautifully” written essays and not reading.
What is my problem?
After speaking to some friends about this, they too have what I’m going to call the “grad student guilt.” It comes with the following symptoms.
1) Feeling so overwhelmed, you can’t focus to do anything.
2) Telling everyone and their mother how much crap you should have done, but didn’t.
3) A feeling of disappointment in yourself.
4) Saying you’re going to the library to do work, but getting sucked into Starbucks with your laptop open, not to a word document, but Facebook.
5) A generalized feeling of “it’s time to do work.”
These are just some of the symptoms I’ve noticed in my colleagues. I think this kind of “grad student guilt” can take its form in many other ways. Like renting season 2 of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and vegetating on the couch to finish it, (why is that finishing a TV series makes us feel so accomplished?) or organizing your bookshelf, or scrubbing the bathroom clean, or pulling the stove out and cleaning behind it for the third time this month. I’m just saying.
Do any of you know what I’m talking about? Please share.