I graduated last week! I can’t even believe that I’m officially done with my Master’s degree. If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember that I defended my thesis last October. I was planning on graduating in the fall, but I didn’t get my thesis edits done in time (the thesis office gave me a week to complete them when I had a million other things to do, but it ended up working out just fine). My final thesis edits were complete as of the beginning of last week, and my journal article (!) was accepted at the end of April. I get to check that research off and really dive into PhD research now, woohoo!
My parents were in town for the event, and I enjoyed spending time with everyone. 🙂 The graduation was a new experience for me. Because my school is so big (over 8,000 people graduated!), they break it into two events: commencement and convocation. Commencement is the school-wide general event where you listen to speakers, and the honorary doctorates and other awards are given out. They acknowledge everyone by degree and college, but no one walks. Convocation is broken down into individual colleges and consists of some short speeches and the main event–the actual conferring of degrees. Commencement and convocation were on two different days, so I wore two different outfits. I decided to go with my navy sheath dress for commencement and added simple accessories. For convocation, I wore my new seersucker dress from Uniqlo. It showed up in the mail the day before, and because I had nothing else picked out, I went with it! I added a cardigan for extra warmth, and I’m glad I did because some storms rolled through and really cooled the air (if you couldn’t tell by my arm hair standing on end, haha). I wore my Cole Haan pumps both days, and I have to say…they are AMAZING! My feet were sore from standing for what felt like forever, but I had no blisters whatsoever–even after being in them for hours! I also decided to decorate my cap, because why not?! It’s too fun, plus it made it easier for friends and family to spot me in the crowd of black gowns and caps. 😉
ModCloth cardigan (old; similar or similar) / Uniqlo dress / Cole Haan pumps via Nordstrom Rack (old; similar with a pointed toe or similar with a higher heel) / Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in soft raspberry
Commencement photo credit: my mom
You guys–I did it! I’m a master of science! WOOHOO! I am so, so relieved to have my thesis defense over and done with. Now it’s on to the thesis edits and the other million things on my to-do list for the next couple of months. (If you’re a new reader and don’t know, I’m a graduate student studying atmospheric sciences. That explains why I talk about weather so much in my posts–I love it and I love talking about it!)
Here’s what I wore for my defense! I actually purchased the dress a couple of years ago for my internship presentation, and I’m not even sure if I’ve worn it since then until now…which is kind of sad, to be honest. I really love this dress, and not just because it was named “Cumulus Laude Dress” (ModCloth gets me with those punny weather names). I’m going to try dressing it down next spring/summer since I have some trouble with that. I paired it with my J.Crew schoolboy blazer which I purchased back in the spring. The room I presented in is ALWAYS freezing so it was necessary, plus I felt the need to wear it on this momentous occasion. It made me feel profesh (yep, I said that). I finished the outfit with my sapphire earrings from my mom and my nude heels. I wanted to do something fancier with my hair and makeup but didn’t have time! I was literally making final tweaks to my presentation an hour before I gave it, haha.
I’m happy with what I put together using pieces I already own. I was so tempted to buy a new dress or something just for my defense, but I’m trying to avoid buying pieces just for one purpose. Yay for suppressing my desire to shop! 🙂
J.Crew blazer (similar) / ModCloth dress (old) / Cole Haan pumps via Nordstrom Rack (similar with a pointed toe) / earrings from my mom
Something that you may or may not know about me is that I am the worst at making decisions unless I feel really strongly one way or the other. Picking which graduate school to attend was seriously the hardest decision of my life thus far. (I honestly wish I was better at decision-making!) So, when my advisor asked me if I wanted to continue graduate school and do a PhD after I finish my master’s degree, I pretty much said “I don’t know” in so many words. Now, a month-ish later, I have to decide very soon whether or not to continue. I always had in my mind that I would get my master’s and then enter the workforce, but now that I’m finishing that up (and defending this fall–eep!), I don’t really know what I want to do. I don’t know where I want to work. My original plan kind of fell out of the window when I realized I didn’t have the credentials. The PhD offer I received is for a project involving greenhouse gases, which is important stuff, but it’s not exactly my favorite thing to study. I’m not that good at chemistry, and what if I ended up hating my project halfway through it? I met with my advisor today to discuss it more, and he presented me with a separate offer and a totally different project–one more related to hydrology and climate, which is what I’ve been doing thus far and is something I enjoy. Plus, it’s way more open-ended; I could do almost anything for my dissertation. I’ve been going back and forth all weekend about the first offer, but now that I have this second offer…I’m actually considering continuing on. There are many pros and cons to getting a PhD, and I swear I’ve read/heard every side. I haven’t officially decided one way or another, but I’ll definitely mention my final decision whenever that may be (soon, I’m sure, though who knows–I hate making decisions, especially when they’re life-changing decisions like this one!). I thought I would know by now since we met today, but this second offer changed everything. If you have any advice one way or the other or general decision making advice, I’m all ears (eyes? ha)!
Regarding the outfit… I’ve been trying to give some love to my brighter pieces and mix them in more with my black and grey favorites. I’m not completely trying to avoid color anymore! I’m a big fan of the stripes and contrasting texture of the lace.
Shirt: J.Crew | Skirt (old): Francesca’s (last seen here) | Flats: Vince Camuto via Nordstrom (similar; last seen here) | Earrings: American Eagle Outfitters