I successfully defended my MS project today :) When I was trying to figure out my life after getting my BA, I was always questioning if graduate school was necessary or worth it. Now that it’s over, I can’t help but feel proud in a maudlin kind of way, going from someone who got straight Bs in high school math to a professional statistician.

Still, it’s a weirdly bittersweet moment. Of course I’m glad to be done and have a MS degree in hand (not literally, but I guess I can update my resume now). On the other hand, leaving the realtively warm welcome of school where the main goals in your daily life are directed by others to the uncertainty of having to be your own person is scary. This was exacerbated by having the pandemic basically cancel any significant socialization in our department and stealing a nice goodbye with a lot of people I’ve grown to know.

I came into grad school expecting to join a collection of reclusive academics and spend two years in quiet, crushing solitude. Saying Oregon State was a pleasant surprise is an understatement. I’ve met some of the most charismatic, intelligent, and empathetic people during my time here which makes cross this particular threshold all the harder. So yeah, I’m glad to leave, but I do wish I had been more in the moment during school and less clawing desperately to the finish line.

Not sure what else to say. Go beavs!