I stepped slowly, nervously towards the teacher’s desk. I handed him the eight pages with my written answers, shook his hand and thanked him for the valuable knowledge he graciously conveyed. I marched away with my head up high and a single thought in mind: I need a beer.
We’ve all been there at period’s end, but this one was special: THE last exam I’ll be handing in for the rest of my life. That’s right, my course year is over.
I was ecstatic. As if my student life was finally over, although I technically still am one. But the joy only lasted for two hours or so. I quickly realized the absurdity of a 26-year-old man getting excited because he’s out of school.
Most of my friends handed in their last exam years ago. They now have steady jobs and cumulative savings for a precarious future. They are buying cars and houses. Some of them already got engaged, or even have kids. A thought that makes me squirm just as it did when I was eighteen.
Me? Well, I live in a student residence building, and my livelihood rests on a scholarship that will soon run out. I have no clue about what I will do after my master. Don’t even know where I’ll live in a few months, once I start my internship. Which, by the way, is not a real job.
On the bright side, I do know more than the average person about Foucauldian theories of governance and neo-liberalism trends in resource management. Two phrases you will never hear outside the academia bubble.
But an academic I am. So I read a little about life crises and their reasons of being. It turns out a shorter time until death ‘highlights the limited remaining time for redirecting or correcting one’s developmental path’.
That did it. Understanding words like Foucauldian or neo-liberalism was the exact developmental path I set out to follow in the first place. I seriously doubt driving a brand new car will get me there. And I’m positive a kid won’t.
I guess there will be no redirected paths for the time being.