So a week and a half after being in graduate school at Florida Atlantic University and I must say I think I'm going to survive it.
My first week I was so scared that if someone told me that they didn't believe I could do it, I might have just dropped out. Class started on Monday of last week, by Thursday I was hanging by a thread, not even a thread, a spiders single strand. Happily for me, spider strands are pretty tough.
Hands down, graduate school may be the scariest undertaking of my life.....but I always believed that it's good for the human soul to do something incredibly scary every once in a while. Makes you aware of how tough you are. That first week I doubted my ability to finish it, I doubted my stamina, I just doubted everything in me to take on such a goal. I even told my mom "you have to still love me if I never graduate." Which is strange, because for the past year I was just salivating to get back into school, yet there, last week I felt that I had underestimated my ability to take on graduate school.
Graduate school is a whole new playing field. The professors and faculty almost treat you like a peer, but not really. It's a strange dynamic. One that I find I am still grappling with (grappling is a good word, I should use it more often). There are unwritten rules to this game I'm playing and you can only find out the rules by playing the game. It's incredibly different from undergrad. Whatever pretenses I came into grad school with from my undergrad, I had to quickly toss them out the window. It's whole different level.
Now it would be really nice if someone came up with a Grad School For Dummies Handbook...but I suppose each book would have to be tailored to each college, because I am certain that not every program behaves exactly like mine. Regardless some sort of handbook would have been nice. Warnings about the amazing amounts of material they expect you to read and befriend would have been helpful and about how what you say about a professor will travel to their ears which will influence whether they sit on your committee or not would be nice...information on how while, yes, you are in higher educated environment, that doesn't always mean people behave like you think higher educated people should, they can/will/might be petty. Information on how they will watch and observe you....on everything, might have been informative. Even this post will most likely make it to their desktop.....which is concerning to me. I don't like being censored, I don't like being monitored, I like my right (not that they're taking it away, they aren't) to be open, honest, and freely express myself. And knowing that I might have someone over my shoulder, I'm afraid might make me hold back something I would say normally. Now I'm not saying they would restrict me, they wouldn't. But I am concerned that they would be concerned about something I decided to blog on. Egh.
It's a lot of work to be conscious of what I'm writing about, instead of just having diarrhea of the mouth (beautiful mental image, I know). But in many ways I'm sure that this will be good for me.
Last week I walked away from my last class thinking "do I look as terrified as I feel?"
Now I'm not thinking that....most likely from the endless amounts of journals and research I'm supposed to read and the papers I'm supposed to write, I don't have time to think. Which is a good thing, means I stay out of trouble ;)
But I still wonder if I will come out of this alive....I like to think I will. Because after all, if someone else was able to do it surely I'll be able to do it. I suppose time will tell.
Till then, I'll just blog about my experiences with grad school. Good ole' grad school.