UWO, Class of 2010

March 16th, 2007 by Potato

Grad students really shouldn’t be classified by graduating year class, it’s just not fair. Sure, for undergrads and high school students, those are reasonable, attainable guidelines and classifications for the vast majority of students (there are exceptions, of course). People know when they’re going to be done, and that at that point their lives will change rather significantly. But for grad students, a graduating year is nebulous. A rough guideline at best, but more practically a goal to work towards, with the full understanding that delays are a fact of life. Even then, the work you do after grad school is often not all that different from what you do during grad school, it might just require a change of scenery. So I find it odd that the first question out of anyone’s mouth when I say I’m working on my PhD is “when will you be done?” I look through sites like Facebook and see people with these classifications beside their name, and wonder how many of those are not just hopeful, but wildly delusional? I know that when I’m forced to put something in that box, it’s not much more than a stab in the dark. I might, if I’m lucky, get the year right, but I really doubt the month/term will be spot-on. Of course, it was so with my own MSc: I started in 2003 and would have expected to graduate as part of the class of ’04, possibly slip into ’05 if my expectations for being above-average fell short; little did I know that it wouldn’t be until halfway through ’06 that I’d finally see my thesis printed & bound. Even scholarship applications and the like require that information, and they really should know better. They asked when you started, they can do the math. In fact, it might be quite interesting and informative to gather up all the OGS applications over the years and contact the students to find out when they actually did graduate, or how their estimate has changed over time if they’re still in grad school….

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