For #LISMentalHealthWeek (January 17 – 23), the “Information water witch” Angela Galvan wrote a vignette titled “All that you leave behind” about dealing with a mental health issue after moving to a vastly new location (New York state from southern Ohio) for work. It meant leaving her support network and learning a new environment while struggling with simply surviving – eating, sleeping, etc. It’s an excellent piece, and I recommend reading it.
And it also reminded me of a blog post on Hack Library School, “The Perils of Seeing a Job as Your Endgame” by Callie Wiygul – which also discusses burning out after library school. (The two pieces are vastly different, but they both discuss the emotional struggles individuals go through when switching jobs and relocating.)
These pieces got me thinking: what will it be like when I graduate from my masters program?
All-in-all, I’m excited. I love my graduate assistantship in acquisitions, but I don’t love my classes. (To put it nicely.) The area in which I live is…fine. And yes, I do have friends here – and I’m close to family. Moving on will require giving up an awesome job, a reasonably nice place to live, and the friends I’ve made. But leaving also means finally getting a break from school – after 18 years. Making more money (but probably spending more, too). An opportunity for (another) fresh start.
It’s a balance between losses and gains. I suppose every major life change is.
After having read the aforementioned articles, though, I know I need to remind myself to be self-aware. This last semester of library school will challenge me by forcing me to juggle schoolwork with applying and interviewing for jobs with taking care of my Reggie with taking care of myself. I will need to monitor myself to know when maybe I need to take a break, or indulge in something special to get me through.
For all those other librarians out there who are managing a job search, here’s a gentle reminder to make sure you take care of yourself. Big changes can mean big excitement, and big stress.