I went to a little party at a friend’s house today. She and I met in college and we’ve stayed in touch, sometimes sporadically, ever since. We both went to graduate school after finishing undergraduate, though in my case I started working and in her case, she isn’t working because she still hasn’t finished school. (She’s in a PhD program.)

Anyway, it was a fun way to spend the afternoon, not least because my friend and I are both Russian speakers. We met through Russian—I walked into Russian class on the first day of college and saw her already sitting there, so I said hi. The next day, I saw her eating breakfast by herself, so I ate with her, and we’ve been friends ever since. We speak in a weird mixture of English and Russian that no one else understands, unless they speak Russian, too. I think this might be called code-switching.

One thought I had today is how glad I am that I’m not in a PhD program. I was so dead set on doing a PhD at one point, but after hearing about it, I’m really and truly glad I didn’t go that route. My friend does like her program, so it’s not like she gave me an overly negative view of it. It’s just that school was a previous phase of my life and now that I’m a couple years out, I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad I went, too, but I’m also glad it’s over. I feel like this is the first time I’ve had such thoughts since graduating. It feels… liberating. And that, in and of itself, is also a reason to celebrate.