Last weekend I was stamping and stuffing E's graduation ceremony/party invitations and realizing it will all be over in just four weeks. My identity as a student wife - more specifically, a seminary wife - will disappear. Along with the late library hours, Greek and Hebrew flashcards, and lunch hours spent with E. In some ways it feels "finally!" and is some ways it feels foreign.
I can hardly imagine what our lives will look like in a few weeks, because the student life has been our normal since day one. I can hardly believe it's almost over - E has been a student for the past 21 years straight! His time in seminary really has been a really unique and incredible experience for both E and I. A degree from the seminary E attends is definitely more involved than a lot of graduate degrees; because of the nature of the study (preparing to be future pastors), the spouses and families of the students spend a lot of time together. Some of my closest friends out here are married to E's classmates. It has not just been an education, it has been a community.
Typically what happens with most seminary students who graduate with their Master of Divinity degree is that they'd start a paid, year-long internship or a full-time pastoral position. E and I decided around the beginning of the year that we wanted to hold off on looking for either of those positions immediately after graduation for some practical reasons involving our recent church change, and a desire to pay down some student loans.
A secondary reason why we decided to stay is simple - we're not quite ready to go! While many of E's classmates moved away from their hometowns to attend school for 3-4 years and are anxious to get back, we feel very settled here. We live about five minutes away from my in-laws and have a lot of friends in the area. We're not anxious to leave the San Diego area if we can help it. Realistically we know we probably won't stay here forever, so we want to soak up every minute of living in southern California before our future plans firm up.
All this means for us now is that E will looking for a 'regular' job' to last at least the next year. My lunch breaks won't involve seeing him (as I work on campus), and there won't be any more evening homework cramping our style. The next year may look like a bit of a holding pattern, but it is one that feels more like a plan.
What big or small life changes are you looking forward to?