One of my grad school friends just got a pretty good job offer and is contemplating taking it. Another friend in between jobs, trying to figure out what to do with his life. One of our soon-to-be alums has starting working in a state policy job. Another has a more or less guaranteed job waiting for her upon completion. My sister is applying for internships for her third year of seminary. A friend in one of our masters programs is looking for a post-graduation job; others are looking for summer internships. And several PhD students I know are on the market, looking for faculty jobs. People are moving; people are getting married; people are having babies. People are getting divorced. People are buying houses.
I know some students take forever to get their PhDs - we're talking 8, 10 years, and not about people who are going part-time - and I can't imagine that. Maybe I'd feel differently if I had gone straight through school and leaving was a leap into the unknown. As it is, I'm starting to get an itch to move on. I'm not yet impatient, but I feel ready to start dissertating, to make progress under my own power. And that's conveniently where I'm at.
So tomorrow I'm meeting with my chair, to talk about my timetable for defending my proposal, some theoretical issues with my topic, and how to submit a conference proposal when the deadline is prior to any data collecting. And next year, it can be me moving places and getting jobs.