Well, it’s that time again. If you follow me on twitter, then you may have noticed I was complaining a bit more than usual.
I actually do not hate finals. I enjoy the challenge and I have always kind of liked the eery calm that takes over campus as everyone gets really focused. Maybe that makes me a masochist.
Last week, I fell into the same routine as the previous eleven semesters. I stayed up insanely late, skipped meals, ate more candy than I usually consume in an entire month, and basically lived off of coffee. I was surviving on sugar, caffeine, and cortisol. You would think that at some point I would learn that this is not the most effective strategy. Needless to say, I was left feeling like a big pile of crap.
In an effort to get my body back to usual, I am doing a mini detox. Nothing too dramatic, just a little spring cleaning. I’ve been trying to ease into it, and plan to continue through at least Friday. Here’s what I’ve given up: bread, dairy, eggs, candy, and coffee (I haven’t had a soda in like a month, or meat in years so no worries there). I haven’t stopped caffeine (green tea) and I’m not sure that anyone would wish that upon society, and I have had a little bit of sugar in my oatmeal.
I’m not feeling better yet, but we’re only two days into this thing. Right now, I just really want a cup of coffee.
I feel like I just finished a marathon. These last few weeks have been physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically draining. It was one looming deadline and stressful exam after another. I was scrambling to accomplish anything, turning in assignments, taking tests and holding my breath that I had done enough. I was in survival mode. I was scraping things together, and praying I was adequate.
On Friday, it ended. Just when I felt like I was fried and could not handle another setback, all my deadlines were met, all necessary work was completed, all the exams have been taken. I had ten beautiful glorious days where I could choose to do whatever I pleased… anything.
I crashed. I slept, and slept, and slept- for hours. I played with my dog. I did two weeks worth of laundry. I cleaned my apartment. And then, I made a list of my upcoming school projects and I got to work. I printed off a humongous stack of research articles and I sat on my porch barefooted and read leisurely. I read in the bath tub. I read in my bed.
Grad school is hard. God. It. Is. So. Hard. Occasionally, I get on Facebook and I look at pictures of my friends’ adorable babies, and handsome husbands, and I briefly wonder if I should have taken a different path. But I don’t want a baby. I don’t want to be planning a wedding. I want a thesis. I want to be Dr. Layton Reesor, PhD. I want to publish research and present at conferences. I want to go out for Sangrias with my grad school friends, drink too much and talk about our work.
And that is exactly what I do. Now that I have a bit of a reprieve I feel satisfied, proud, accomplished. I feel as committed as ever to this life I have created.
In my last post, I basically emotionally vomited all over the blog. If you read it, then it should not come as a surprise that I decided to move out. Luckily, I have the best friends in the whole world, and we were able to get all of my major belongings relocated in under an hour. I’ve been gradually unpacking and then going back to my house for things that I left. Hopefully, the move will be complete by the end of the week, but here is what I’ve got so far.
Props to Tinkerbell for her modeling talents.
It’s still in progress, but I think it has potential. I am loving having my own space. Take a look at the picture of my refrigerator. It was sooooooo nice to be able to grocery shop, and buy whatever I wanted, and not have to worry about making it fit into my tiny corner of the fridge.
I wasn’t “allowed” to have plants before (my roommate said they would bring bugs into the house), so I may have gone a little overboard in the botany department. I’m especially fond of my tree. Hopefully I can keep him alive.
Do you guys remember how at the end of the summer I was all, “Oh my gosh I’m so nervous about grad school!!! What if I’m not as smart as everyone else? And what if I’m a terrible teacher? And what if this whole thing blows up in my face?!?!?! BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.”?
Well guess what?
BOOOOM! STRAIGHT As!!!!!!
I had some internal conflict about whether or not I should post about my grades. It feels a little classless, but it’s my blog and it’s about my life, and I am really proud of myself.
Don’t get me wrong. This semester was not easy. I worked INSANELY hard, possibly the hardest I have ever worked at school. It’s just a good feeling to know that my hard work has started paying off.
Monday I presented my mock-thesis to all of the first year graduate students in my program. I was a nervous wreck. I spent FOREVERRRR preparing that thing.
A couple of my slides, so that you can see how beautiful my powerpoint was!
And I made an A. Now that it is over with the world seems like a more cheerful place. The end of the semester is so close that I can taste it. Although it would be easy to start playing Christmas music (guilty) and fantasize about what I am going to do with my upcoming month, I know that I need to stay focused and push through these upcoming weeks.
School has been going great! I can hardly believe that it started three whole weeks ago. It does NOT seem like that long at all. Teaching Lifetime Physical Activity and Fitness (LPAF) has been full of advantages. Not only am I getting the experience (and the pay), but it gave me a social group. The other graduate assistants are in many of my classes, and I always have someone to sit beside and chat with. It’s a cool feeling to be surrounded by so many people with similar interests and goals.
I’m really enjoying the classes that I am taking as well. It is a very different experience than undergrad classes. All of my professors know me by name, and do not hesitate to put people on the spot. I HAVE to be prepared for class every day.
I am teaching my first group fitness classes next week and I am freaking PUMPEDDDDD.
I am the busiest I have ever been, and things do get a little stressful, but I could not be happier. I am completely in love with my life right now. I could float away I have so many happy thoughts!
This is just a quick iPhone post before work. Still no word on what I will be doing for the next two years, but I have managed to calm down a bit. Based on the information I was given, the latest that I should know is Tuesday. If I haven’t heard something by then, you know I will start making phone calls.
As far as the half a cheesecake I devoured the other night, all I can do is let it go and move on. Setbacks happen. It wasn’t a good choice. I am now actively taking steps to prevent making the same mistake again, and I have adjusted my weight loss expectations for this week.
I haven’t done as much running as I would like. I got a second job and picked up extra shifts at work. But now I am financially all caught up and looking forward to a tiny vacation with some good workouts next week!