Since the end of spring semester, Hack Library School bloggers have been posting great content to keep you going this summer. For me, summer will not be a break. I’ll be finishing my last semester of school. If you’re like me, library school has been a marathon. Perhaps you’ve just finished your first mile, maybe you’re half way through–or maybe you can see the finish line. Smart marathon runners have a post-race recovery plan that starts the second after they cross the finish line. I’m starting to think like a runner to prepare myself for life after library school. Here are a few ideas I’m moiling over to prepare for the end.
You can’t run a marathon and stop running the instant your foot crosses the finish line. There’s a requisite cool down needed after you’ve pushed yourself to the limit for 26 miles. I’m sure it will be tempting to veg out post graduation—but think of high interest projects to take up after school. The immediate task for many graduates is to start job hunting. In addition, your cool down phase can be a great opportunity to take on internships, fine tune your resume, build a portfolio, publish or brush up on topics you missed out on in your coursework. After I complete my coursework, I’m planning to attend ALA’s Virtual Conference and work on book reviews. I’m also looking to publish some of my work and learn code (per Topher’s suggestion in How To Hack Your Summer Vacation).
Runners take ice baths, hydrate, get massages, and eat carb and protein-filled meals to restore their bodies to stasis after a distance race. Personally, I’m at a point far from stasis. I don’t plan to take an ice bath anytime soon, but I do want to use my newfound free time to cook fresh meals, exercise, spend time with my friends and get plenty of sleep. Hack Library School has had some great posts on work/school/life balance that I recommend checking out. Perhaps you’ve been able to keep that balance during school, if not, brainstorm ways to reward and take better care of yourself after graduation. While some of these things may happen quite naturally, others take some effort. I’ve gotten used to being too busy to hang out, cook or exercise. I’m ready to tell myself “You’ve got time to jog–go for it!”
Prepare to be Surprised
I’d like to change gears for a bit and abandon the running analogy for a movie quote. I wrote this blog post knowing I could prove myself wrong in just a few weeks time. I’m planning and preparing myself for my life after library school–but my plans may not matter. We can’t know what life after library school brings. We can’t know how we will adjust to the changes on the horizon. One of my favorite quotes from the movie Dan in Real Life reads:
“Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised.”
Prepare yourself as much as you can but know that there are things that will happen after school that are beyond your control. When you walk across the stage at graduation, or click the “submit” button on your last assignment–take a deep breath and know that change is coming.
Library school students, what are you doing to prepare for life after library school? Graduates, what did you do to prepare for transition? What is a change or challenge that you didn’t expect? How did you face it?