Today was ripe for a bit of academic reflection for a few reasons. First, I am now officially a Masters level graduate from the London School of Economics & Political Science (don’t let the school’s name fool you. I studied Global Media & Comm. there, albeit with an economic slant). My official LSE grades were sent from London to Shanghai and….WHOOHOO! I was pleased.
Also exciting in nerd-world: my first term at Fudan University School of Journalism is officially over. I know this because I spent the last few days bleary-eyed and dazed in my typical end-of-semester “I just wrote 2 papers and a presentation in 24 hours” state.
So, my 20-seconds of basking in the glow of two academic milestones are over and…well, it’s a bit of a let-down.
A quick run through of all the sleepless nights of studying and paper writing, all the missed opportunities to spend time with family and friends and (sigh) ALL of the money that has been thrown towards academia over the past 16 months and …hello? Where’s the parade here?
I know that these personal milestones are just that…personal. And they don’t need the praise of many to justify their significance. But it does seem a bit off, when you’re living in a culture in which the media hands out accolades for a celebrity’s choice of hair product.
Over in chilly London, my LSE cohorts class of 2009 graduated last night in an official ceremony. As LSE boasts a student body that is 90% international, LSE alumni and their family flew-in from all over the world to attend the event. Next year, I’ll have two graduation ceremonies, one in London and one in China,to celebrate the 5 little letters that now follow my name (it’s MSc and MA, for those wondering). But I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend either (pending where I am living in the world), or for that matter, that I’ll even feel the need to.
The past two years have taught me that academic achievements, despite the $teep costs, are strictly your own personal gains. If you need more than a “hey, good job!” pat on the back, then I wouldn’t venture into this marathon for the mind.
In the meantime, I’ll quit complaining and enjoy the plushier side of student life: TWO MONTHS OF HOLIDAY BREAK!