Grad School Ramblings

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.

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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.

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Thoughts on the Upcoming Year

I’m having a hard time getting into the New Year’s spirit this year. Every time I’ve tried to write a post about the upcoming year I feel stressed, overwhelmed, and unmotivated. Normally I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but right now I just feel grumpy.

I think part of my issue is that 2012 was such a great year for me that I am sad to see it go. Also, I know that 2013 is going to be busy and filled with stress. This time next year I will have submitted PhD applications and I will be anxiously awaiting replies. I will have more responsibility with my research project, I will have proposed my thesis, and be preparing to defend it. In many ways, my career is dependent on my performance in this upcoming year.

In order to avoid sending myself into a panic, rather than making a huge list of resolutions for the entire year. I just want to take things month by month. I’ll make a list of mini goals every month and evaluate them as the year goes on- no pressure.

And now that I’ve written this post, I’ve actually come up with a resolution: Take care of myself. I don’t handle stress as well as I would like. I know that I am a much happier, friendlier, and productive person when I allow myself to relax and not get worked up and upset. I need to keep things in perspective, decide what is most important to me, and not ruminate over whether or not I’ve made the correct decisions.

I know that’s not a S.M.A.R.T. goal at all, but it’s what is in my heart right now. I don’t want for the things that I am passionate about to become stressful burdens; if I don’t put my own well-being first, then I know that is where I’m headed.

Good-Bye 2012! You were great.

Hello 2013! I’m as ready as I will ever be, so you can Bring. It. On.

This picture isn't really from last night, but I am holding a drink, so PRETEND!

This picture isn’t really from last night, but I am holding a drink, so PRETEND!

School Stuff

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?

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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.

What if I fail?

I am amazed at how things have come together for me. Just a few months ago I had no idea where I was going to be living, or what I was going to be doing. Now, not only have I been admitted to a graduate program that I am ridiculously excited about, but I found out yesterday that I am receiving a graduate assistantship, and will be teaching undergraduate classes this fall.

My ultimate career goal is to be a college professor, so to be given the opportunity to teach now is insane. I am thrilled. I could pee my pants.

Let me tell you a secret… I’m also terrified. I can’t believe these people have so much faith in me. I feel like I was just seventeen and applying to college a few weeks ago. How can I possibly be prepared to teach these students who are practically my peers.

Part of me wonders what is wrong with these people who think that I am an “Outstanding Senior”, and I am ready to teach college students. They don’t realize that I am perpetually in search of my keys, get lost every time I visit some place new, and routinely wear socks that don’t match. I’m not an adult. I call my mother in tears on a weekly basis.

Although I am thankful to have received these accolades, I feel undeserving. I’ve been given everything that I could have possibly wanted. I have everything to lose? What if I don’t meet their expectations? What if I fail?