Camellia Sinensis (camellia_uk) wrote,
Camellia Sinensis

The needle returns to the start of the song...

Over the last few months, I've been coming to terms with one of the biggest changes in my life -- ceasing to be a student. While this sounds silly, I've been in full-time education from the age of about 5 until October of last year, and it's been a big change for me, at least mentally, to be cut loose from this safety net. Finally, I've become a real person, with a job, and a pension, paying council tax and national insurance contributions. I've finally stepped into the real world.

...or so I thought. Today, I got a letter from the university, confirming that actually, despite not taking any classes, having any contact with supervisors or in fact pretty much any contact with the university whatsoever, I am still officially classed as a full-time student. Apparently finishing the full-time part of the PhD doesn't change your registration, and you continue to be registered as full-time until final submission.

This is weird for me. On the one hand, it's good news, as I can now apply for a whole range of cheap deals -- quarter-price conference fees, hopefully a railcard for the daily commute, and possibly even exemption from council tax. A part of me is wondering if I should feel cheated that I was missing out on all these things for the past few months. However, a part of me just feels like it's a bit of a step backwards. Free stuff is great, and potentially a big financial relief, but I do sometimes wonder if I'm ever going to stop being a student (in the literal sense, not in the "all academics are students for life" sense), and move on with my life.

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