I biked around the University of Oregon campus yesterday for the first time in months, getting some stuff done in preparation for my upcoming move to Joshua Tree. I was thinking about how familiar the ride was, how many hundreds of times I had done it in the last several years. I know each building, each stop sign, each crack in the pavement on my commute.

Suddenly it hit me: I am not biking to class! All the signs pointed to school. The leaves are turning, the college kids are out in force, there is no parking within a half mile of campus, but I am done with all that.

I loved school. I loved the two years finishing my Bachelor’s degree in psychology, I loved my couples and family therapy Master’s program, I loved my classes and most of my professors, I loved the community of learners, I loved all the reading and writing, I loved the density and the pace of the learning. There is just no chance that I would have learned all that I did in the last four years without all the school, deadlines, tests, and papers.

My academically-minded friends all say that I have to do a Ph.D, that I should do a Ph.D, that I would love to do a Ph.D. And maybe they are right–I probably would love to do a Ph.D. But right now, I am glad to be done. I am excited about having a more relaxed lifestyle, moving to my small town, spending time with my family, starting my own family, starting my own practice, writing some books, writing some music. That sounds great.

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