Remembering to be a regular person (and not just a grad student)

Last Monday night, I went with some friends from church to an “all-you-can-eat chicken wings” event at a local restaurant. The company and conversations were fantastic, but I still left after a couple hours second-guessing my decision to go. The service had been slow, so I wound up staying longer than expected, which led to going to bed late and without my nightly routine of planning out the next day. Plus, spending $18 for the privilege of eating as much poultry as I could stomach probably wasn’t great for my bank account (which has been getting slimmer since my daughter was born), my waistline (which hasn’t followed the example of my bank account), or for my growing conviction that I really need to be eating more tofu and less meat.

Despite all of that second-guessing, though, I’m very glad that I went. I really needed to take the time to be a “regular person” and not just a grad student, something that the tweet above shows I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I do a fair number of things outside of grad school, but not enough of them are unstructured opportunities to just spend time with other people. I remember turning down an invitation to a Dungeons and Dragons group as a first-year grad student because I already knew that I needed to set aside a lot of time for this exciting new adventure, and things have only gotten busier since. While it’s definitely important to know how to manage your time—and while I’ve found other, less time-intensive ways to get my D&D fix—I haven’t been great recently about being a regular person, and I’m glad I took the time to make a step toward that direction.

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