About Morgan · Grad School · Real Life

Incremental Progress

Why does time move more slowly the closer you get to achieving a goal?

My master’s program lasts twenty months, and they are just crawling. It feels slower with each class I finish – I worry I never will.This whole ‘one class at a time’ thing is super helpful with pacing out the workload, but it can be frustrating to think I might halve that time by doubling up. Not that that’s an option – how else would they get five semesters’ worth of tuition out of me?

The drawn out process can also be a hit on my confidence level. It’s hard to know when I’m doing well, or if I’m just barely surviving. It all feels like survival; the bare minimum has never been my bag, though.

It’s like playing silly mobile games, the kind that zap your attention and focus until you’re on level 256 three hours later. Why do I keep raising Magikarp to jump? I’m on Generation 56, which means I’ve repeated the process – catching a Magikarp, naming it, feeding and training it – more than fifty times. With each level I reach, with new medals and items available to me, I think I get it. These little rewards are just enough to keep me coming back.

My classes are like that. Every eight weeks brings another course, another milestone reached. What happens when they’re over?

Will I keep coming back for more?


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