This Just In: Student 4 Life Graduates

After 10 years of post-secondary education, including:

- 2 years of community college general sciences (graduating with a DEC – Sciences de la Nature and an IB Diploma)
- 3 years of psychology (graduating with a B.A. Psych)
- 1 year of easy courses to qualify for pharmacy school
- 4 years of pharmacy school (graduating with a B.Sc. Pharm),

I finally get to step out into the real world. Within a few months, I should be able to live in a real apartment, take cheap ramen out of my diet (upgrading to expensive ramen), quit obsessing over money, and work no more than 37 hours a week.

I get asked the question often, so I’ll answer it before it comes up again. No, I didn’t start young. I’m just really immature for my age.

The last month, simply put, sucked. I knew it would be rough, but knowing it and living through it are, yeah, two different things. My licensing exams, all three of them, were in the last week of May, mixed in with graduation formalities and a cross-country move. For a month, I put my life on hold and reviewed everything I had learned in the past 4 years. And ate a lot of fast food. Like tons of fast food. As in, I’ll be doing sit-ups for weeks to recover from all the fast food.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned and, because clearly I wasn’t going through enough hell, my roommate came up with the wonderful idea of re-doing the kitchen as I’m trying to study and pack. (Which didn’t help in resisting the fast food cravings.) So while I’m stressed out of my mind, I was woken every morning and kept up every night by noise, dust, kitchen supplies all over the place and strangers breathing down my neck.

By the night before my first exam, my room (and state of mind) looked like this:

Please don’t tell any future landlords.

My lowest point, however, I think was on my last day in Newfoundland. I had my grad party that night (a big formal affair), and spent all day packing boxes. I was stressing because I was nowhere near done, but needed to get ready for grad. I stepped into the shower, only to discover than the renovation guys had cut off the hot water. I tried washing my hair in cold water, but it didn’t work out for me.

I’ll leave the scene of me sitting in a ball on the floor of my room with my wet hair sticking up, boxes and unpacked belongings scattered around me, to your imagination. It’s funny now, but I probably would have yelled at anyone telling me it was funny at the time.

Mixing Raiding and School

There’s enough I can say on the topic to write a series of stand-alone posts, but the end of it is, and I might change my mind a few years from now, that it was worth raiding throughout pharmacy school.

I raided late at night (mostly because that’s when my guilds raided, but it did help since I’d usually study until 9:30 or 10pm) and was therefore tired and cranky all day. I missed a lot of class because I was up late raiding. Heck there were courses I never went to outside of exams.

But I don’t regret it. My grades were average. Maybe they would have been slightly above average if I hadn’t been raiding. But even now that I don’t have to be in denial anymore, I still don’t regret it.

I know it sounds weird coming from someone who just did 10 years of college of, but I’ll say it: I hate school. I hate it. I’ve always hated it. I like learning. I like the fields I studied. I like being around intelligent and inspiring individuals. But I hate the pressure, I hate the competitiveness, I hate grades, I hate having to sit still all day, I hate having no money. School has always been a waiting game for me. Bite the bullet, do what they tell you and the ordeal will end eventually. (I also hated being a kid and can’t understand people who miss being kids. Being a kid was another, awful, waiting game. I’m thankful every day that it’s over.)

Raiding kept me sane. It let me be around like-minded people (I both adore and admire all of the classmates with whom I’ve had the honour of sharing several years of my life, but I had very little in common with the majority of them. I was cursed with the personality of an engineer but the brain of a liberal arts person.) It gave me something to look forward in the evenings. It gave me something to work at for my own pleasure, something on which I was never graded.

I know some people take raiding and competition very seriously, but not me. I raid because I love to raid. I do a good job because I like doing a good job. Oh, I’ll joke about healing meters, but that’s all it is, joking. Same goes for my blog. I’ll jokingly brag about stats but blogging is really where I get away from the numbers and the mediocracy that’s so often rubbed in my face. The blog does what it wants. I don’t do adds, I’d never accept to write about WoW for money. The blog and raiding are the two places where it doesn’t matter if I do well or not. The blog and raiding are where I can sit back and enjoy the journey, without worrying about whether or not my life will be screwed up at the destination.

When I Stopped Concentrating on Raiding

I quite raiding seriously at the beginning of January. I miss a lot. You guys have no idea. No amount of emo whining can really translate how much I miss it.

You know how some women get to about 30 without every wanting kids, then suddenly starting hating everyone with kids and can’t live with themselves until they get pregnant? (I really hope this doesn’t happen to me. Pregnancy is just uggg. I’ll adopt, thank you very much.) Anyway, that’s what it’s like. I can’t read Twitter during general raid hours anymore. I fight back tears whenever I’m asked about my WoW life. I rage at anyone who complains about seeing raid content too often. (I wish I was in a position to be in raid burnout!)

Still, I grit my teeth and tell myself it was for the better. It was nice, not being exhausted during clerkship. I did a good job because I wasn’t tired. Not good enough to be “above average“, but hopefully I made a difference in a few people’s lives.

I got to meet a lovely guild who welcomed me with open arms and understood that I was only going to be with them for a few months. (I’ll have another post dedicated to them later this week.) I actually plan on leaving my alts with them when I move on. While I missed raiding in a more intense environment, their jokes, their familiarity, their rich lives outside of game and their laid back attitude made my hiatus enjoyable. I tried to stay distant – no use in getting attached when I know I’ll be leaving – but they managed to break me a few times. By now my raid leader, Thespius, probably knows more about me than he ever wanted to. He’ll be spending his next few months trying to erase his memory.

I’m terrified that I won’t find my ideal guild after I move. Working late hours on the West Coast isn’t conducive to progression raiding.The fact that I don’t have any end boss kills (lets not even talk about heroics) doesn’t help either. I know that a lot of guilds are recruiting, so if you’re running a late night, 25 man progression raid team and are looking for a dedicated holy paladin, hit me up.

My Grad Present to Myself: Traveling Across the Country

In a couple of hours, I’ll be taking a flight to Edmonton, to look for a place to live. I decided to turn my trip back East into a (well-deserved, if I do say so myself) vacation. I picked up a Discovery Pass (no, I can’t take the train. I’d love to take the train, but trains in Canada are waaaaaay more expensive than trains in the US!) and plan to make full use of it. Cities on the itinerary are:

Edmonton
Calgary
Winnipeg
Milwaukee
Chicago

If you’re in one of those cities and care to buy me coffee (or let me buy my own coffee if you’re a cheapo) let me know! Fannon is also planning a meetup in Edmonton this Friday (June 3), so if you’re in the area and want in, give him a shout.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what my room looked like after exams were over with and my move was under control…

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58 Comments on “This Just In: Student 4 Life Graduates”

  1. Will Says:

    Congratulations, Ophelie. I’m proud of you. :)

    Also, that first picture looks like it could easily be called “Nap Time for Old Farts.”

  2. Rades Says:

    Congratulations! :D You must be so glad. And good luck on being able to get back into your beloved raiding!

  3. bleuchz Says:

    LOVE this post :D
    Wish you all the best in whatever you do (just don’t neglect you’re e-fans D: )
    I actually picked up WoW when I made the decision to go back to school 3+ years ago. I need something in my life to keep me socially centered and it seemed like a safe way to keep me out of the bar crawling nature that made my first stint at college a GPA nightmare. WoW did the trick for me, I hope in 3-4 years I’ll have my law degree and make a similar post to yours :P

    • Ophelie Says:

      It’s not very often that you hear someone say WoW actually made them do better in school!

      I’ve never been much of a bar type, so WoW probably held me back socially. But at the same time, on the rare occasions where I do meet people I really click with in the real world, WoW takes the backseat, so I blame my eccentricities more than WoW ^_^

      Good luck with your studies! Hang in there!

  4. Martin Says:

    Grats on surviving. Also Congratulations for obtaining the degree as well. I remember what it was like and I only did 6 years – at UBC. It does get better – a bit anyway. The pressure points change and you are more self-motivated but it is better. No doubt. Well done.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you!

      …UBC! I’m so jealous! I visited UBC last summer. It’s such a gorgeous campus. And the food court! OMG! I would have loved to study there.

  5. Fannon Says:

    Congratulations on getting through your years of scholarly hell, Ophie. The real world is a harsh mistress, and I miss university at times, but there is a distinct feeling when you leave school that your life has finally started for real. It’s exciting and frightening all at the same time.

    And life has an annoying habit of catching up to you quickly. I can’t really tell you how I went from being a carefree university student to BAM! Car Payments, Mortgage, wife and kids. In my head I am still that 20 something who spent more time in the campus pub than in any class other than his photography class.

    And I’m looking forward to meeting up with you tomorrow!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you! I’m so excited about tomorrow, you have no idea!

      I don’t think I was ever a carefree student… Perhaps a little during my psych degree. But most of the time it was a constant juggle of time and limited resources. I plan to make up for my lack of crazy 20s years in my 30s! No buying a house, getting married or having kids for me yet!

      I’m actually not worried about moving on from school. I guess it helps that I already have a job lined up, plus I’ve watched so many of friends around me graduate and get on with their lives. Moving across the country worries me a bit – I’ve moved across the country (and even to another country once!) by myself before, but this is first time I have to bring all my belongings with me!

  6. Saunder Says:

    So, whats your next degree on….? Grats!

    • Ophelie Says:

      It’s a toss up between linguistics and anthropology. Also really interested in doing something that has to do with music and societies…

      I would eventually like to do grad studies in Disaster Relief and Management because I’m a sucker for extreme circumstances and logistics (and doing logistics in extreme circumstances makes me giddy) but not for many, many years yet!

      Thank you!

      • Saunder Says:

        Not knowing more than the bare basics about Canada, I can’t say how applicable it is, but here in Oz, we have a volunteer organisation called the State Emergency Service. Its one of my hobbies and along with fixing roofs in storms and cutting up fallen trees, we do assistance for other natural disasters such as floods etc – and that includes logistics, planning, etc as well as the ground work. Give it a year or two more experience and I could be in a team running logistics for something like the Queensland floods (if that made news over the other side of the world). It would be an awesome experience – if you have similar type organisations you may be able to get the experience without needing to do the degree :D

        • Ophelie Says:

          Yeah, I’d love to do something like that! I’d still like to do the degree (not necessarily the masters but the certificate seems very cool), but I think I would enjoy getting involved at a local level beforehand too. (Interestingly, under normal circumstances, getting into the university program requires 5 years of experience in disaster management)

  7. Ellandria Says:

    I’m happy for you, although I’m a bit shocked by how stressful your month has been. You should have posted about it, even briefly; I would have made certain to pray for you. Good luck on your future endeavors and on attaining employment!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Aww thank you! That’s so nice of you ^_^

      I didn’t stick around the internet much over the past month. I complained a little on twitter, but I’m *so* behind on blogging and playing WoW! I’m just glad it’s over, that I’m moving to Alberta soon and I get my cross Canada trip I’ve been dreaming of for a long time!

  8. Cynwise Says:

    Yay! Congrats!

  9. Bob Says:

    Grats! Looks like I could comfortably sleep on that junk that’s on the floor :)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Ha! The majority of that junk was relocated to the shredder. Getting rid of all of it felt sooooo good!

      Thank you!

  10. tiddlywink Says:

    is a late night west coast guild the same as an oceanic guild? or are we too late for you?

    • Ophelie Says:

      That might be a tad late… Or early… I can never remember how Oceanic timezones work. But if you raid at strange times by Oceanic standards, we might be compatible.

      • tiddlywink Says:

        well, oceanic servers are on GMT+10. Our usual raiding times are, for example, 7.45 to 11.00pm oceanic server time, which is the equivalent of 2.45am to 6am vancouver time (for example) :D more very early than late night i guess!

        • Ophelie Says:

          So that would be 3:45 am to 7 am my time (I get to do the easy timezone math, you’re stuck with the hard timezone math ;D). It’s bit too late/early for me. Thanks though!

  11. Yaobo Says:

    Congrats!!! 10 years of uni @_@ least u had WoW for the latter/harder ish parts:D
    Hope u keep updating once u transition into working life. Love the blog:)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you so much! I do plan to keep the blog alive. Hoping to be posting more now that I don’t have to study all the time, but I have to see what my work schedule will be like before I make promises!


  12. You’ve achieved something really fantastic here – I’m inspired! I hope the trip is everything you want it to be and best of luck moving forward into that new job :)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you!!

      So far the trip has been lovely and the town I’m moving to is beautiful. I can see the Rockies from my hotel window! (I don’t want to find an appartment anymore, I want to live in this hotel with its great view!)

  13. Windsoar Says:

    Congrats on your graduation! Enjoy that well-deserved vacation :)

  14. tokaa05 Says:

    I got some things in RL atm aswell, that is conflicting with WoW just a tad >.> And via versa hehe. I hope I can juggle it just as well and get everything sorted out (some messes around the rooms >.>).

    Congrats on graduating ^^

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you!

      I hope your RL stuff falls into place soon. The way RL tends to get in the way of one’s WoW is really annoying.

      Also, the best way to deal with messes is garbage bags. Big ones ^_^

  15. Jong Says:

    Congrats!!!!!


  16. Congratulations, Ophelie! That’s a tremendous accomplishment!

  17. Oestrus Says:

    I am very, very proud of you and I look forward to seeing you during the Milwaukee step on the “Bossy Pally and the Giant Tour.”

    Seriously – you should totally make some merchandise and market that shit.
    :)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Bossy Pally and the Giant Tour! I like it! Why couldn’t I think of that?

      I’ll be heading your way soon! I can’t wait!

  18. Angelya Says:

    Big congrats on your graduation! Have a great time on your trip letting your hair down :)

  19. Hempia Says:

    Congratulations!

    “The blog and raiding are where I can sit back and enjoy the journey, without worrying about whether or not my life will be screwed up at the destination.”

    Best perspective EVER. <3

  20. SmashNHeal Says:

    Congratulations!

  21. Nicolause Says:

    Congratulations and very well done. You’ve more than earned it.

    /goes back to lurking.

  22. D Says:

    Congrats, best of luck with everything in the future.

  23. Norll Says:

    Huge congrats on finishing school! Best of luck in raiding and joining the professional workforce.

  24. Chasey Says:

    Gratz, well deserved! Best of luck with the license exams. And the room looks much better now.

  25. Sunstridere Says:

    Every time I see a success story like this I feel a little fuzzy inside. Sadly for me, I worked more on being a healer in WoW than IRL and didn’t get through med school as unscathed as you did…but I’m learning and have stopped raiding too. So though it sucks bawls to cut back on WoW to do silly stuff like real life, you know it was for the better. And yay now you get to go back to raiding, and STILL kick arse enough to spot silly prescriptions written by overworked idiots like me in the morning!

    Big gratz. B.Sc Pharm title and achi > Loremaster title and achi :)

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you!

      My family really wanted me to do med school, but after how much I struggled with pharmacy, I’m quite glad I did pharmacy instead. Med school looks like hell on earth (the degree part seems doable, but residency? OMG! I worked with a few residents on my last rotation and couldn’t understand how they didn’t drop dead on the spot).

      Hang in there! It sucks so much in the time being, but in a few years it’ll be worth it. And WoW might not being around anymore, but there will be other MMOs to kick ass at!


  26. [...] a brief hiatus, in which Ophelie graduated from college and I got promoted at work, we return with the help of the incomparable Cynwise, from [...]

  27. Amerence Says:

    Congrats! I admire your motivation, determination and Sacrifice. Gotta say your hard work is paid off? There is nothing to compare of getting a diploma of something you work so hard. its the greatest achievement we could get! proof that You were not wasting time. I admire you! Congrats again hon. =D

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thank you!

      Beyond anything else, it’s so nice to have school behind me and to be ready to finally start my life! (And at almost 27, it’s about time!)


  28. [...] over at The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon talks about playing while dealing with studying, Gratz on the qualification acheivement! I’ve studied a bit of pharmacology and you’re [...]


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