February 24, 2012

Third time's the charm

Tomorrow I'll be boarding another flight to the east coast for the third debate tournament of this month. Normally, for people who compete on APDA three tournaments a month isn't too bad, but for those of us who have to fly it's going to be abysmal. At the very least, I'm going to be very exhausted by the end of it.

The last time I attended three tournaments in a row was earlier this year, when I decided to go to Johns Hopkins, William and Mary I, and Columbia back to back to back. The difference there, however, was that I only had to go east once. This time, I've had to adjust to the problem of flying incredibly early on every Friday on which I compete. The effect on my ability to debate is not trivial: early morning flights make you less able to debate well because they simply tire you out. This, compared with flying in the day before so that I'm well rested, driving down casually at noon, or even just heading out at a reasonable time in the morning that most people go to work at is a terrible proposition. Add on the fact that we have a three hour car ride to the tournament, and it's going to be a painful few days.

I guess the real comparison would be to the time that I traveled to Middlebury, Dartmouth, and Bates three weekends in a row. All of those tournaments also have exorbitant travel requirements, and towards the end of that streak I was running on fumes. The lack of classwork this time around should make the trip easier, but probably not by much.

On the other hand, though, I need a break. This week has not been pleasant, and I need to get away from Chicago for a while. Additionally, the chance to go home, even if for only a really brief spell, is welcome. Though I find it problematic that I want to leave Chicago more and more often, in the short term the best solution is simply to leave.

This doesn't bode well for my future career prospects, however. On the one hand, I would take basically any job offer that I get. On the other hand, one of my best potential offers requires me to remain in Chicago. I'm afraid either that I would be unhappy with what would be a great job (if I get it) or that in my haste to leave, I end up in a more remote, less interesting place with less opportunity to travel. The latter is especially unpleasant.

I really have only learned one thing about myself during college, and that is that I enjoy travel. I'm not even sure if that's true.

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