We all have regrets.
I mean, we all end up in the place we are at for a reason, but everyone wishes they would have done some things differently.
- Wrong attitudes
- Hurtful words
- Unspoken words
- Lost connections
- Failed careers
- Misspent time
Some of us just went to school for too long – I know I did.
It certainly differentiates me, in a way, but it almost seems like it was a bit of a waste.
I went to undergrad, and then thought grad-school was the answer.
Then I couldn’t find a job.
And after enough time without a job, I went back to grad-school because: Why not?
Even after all that, I agree with McMurtry.
I went to school for too long, but I sure did get a lot of good reading done.
And what’s more exciting than that? Maybe writing?
Maybe we should have just gotten a job.
I AM of the generation of American writers that stayed in school a little too long, and the reason we did is that there was, in the late fifties, no more compelling place to be. By school I mainly mean graduate school. The only war available in the fifties was the Korean conflict, to which most of us were not drawn and from which we were protected by our excellent grade-point averages. The New Journalism, so sexy and exciting, had not yet been born—its stars, Tom Wolfe, David Halberstam, Gay Talese, Marshall Frady, and the rest, were still writing the old journalism, as were thousands of other old journalists who never became stars. Convention ruled, computers hadn’t arrived, corporate takeovers were rare. There seemed to be nothing more exciting to do than read. One of the best novels—I had almost said studies—of the period is Philip Roth’s second book, Letting Go, which catches the musty, slightly mildewed quality of graduate school life better than any other.
–Larry McMurtry, Walter Benjamin At The Dairy Queen