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Fish Out of Water

August 20, 2010

I spent the week in TA training workshops. Monday morning at 8am, I will teach my very own class. That’s right, I’m teaching Public Speaking to brand new freshmen at 8am on Monday morning.

I’m a glutton for punishment.

Talk about hitting the ground running. Just one year ago, I was balls-out quarterlife crisising. Now I’m beyond that (and writing about my journey here!) and tenaciously going after my passions. I’m back in school, you guys! I’m sitting on a giant campus in a giant office I share with a ton of TAs.

Though I may be back in school, I’m feeling a little out of place. The thing is, I don’t live in this town. I commute 25 miles each way. When I’m here, I’m here. When I’m home, I’m home. I’m not coming back to campus for evening shenanigans. I’m not exactly here to socialize. I have a bit of a domestic life 25 miles away.

I’m struggling with this. I’m here to learn, to get my degree, to collaborate. This isn’t undergrad. No, I can’t go to the bars with you tonight. I’m hanging out with my husband and my cat in our little house in our little neighborhood. I know it sounds rude, but that’s where I am. I want to take a professional approach to my graduate career. I want to manage my time wisely and get enough sleep and spend enough time with those I love and enjoy my classes and get along with my colleagues and my students… I want to be amazing.

If I keep my priorities straight, I know  I will be.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 1:45 pm

    I don’t know what kind of grad program you’re in, but when I was in business school they put a huge emphasis on getting to know your classmates. Though I had a lot of opportunities to get to know them through group projects, hanging out with people socially allows you to learn about them on a completely different level. I really enjoyed the conversations I had with people over a few beers because hearing about their experiences ended up being a really valuable part of my grad school education for both personal and professional growth purposes. I had a bunch of classmates who also lived far away and who didn’t make it out as often, and I’m sad I didn’t get to know them better. I’m not saying you have to go out and get wasted with them all the time, but even if you try to grab coffee with a classmate once every few weeks, it would hopefully add to your grad school experience as well. =)

    • August 20, 2010 2:07 pm

      Thank you, Arielle. I’m not saying I’m going to totally reject every offer that comes my way. In fact, I had lunch with a few of the TAs yesterday and we made plans for coffee next week. Luckily, I share an office with at least a dozen other TAs in my program so I’ll be able to build community and relationships there.

  2. August 20, 2010 5:51 pm

    good luck! I’m struggling with the decision to go back to school, but your post hits home because I know I need to make that decision so I can be on the path I want to be. I’m a bit stuck right now in what I’m doing. It’s always encouraging to see others make decisions like this 🙂

  3. August 20, 2010 6:50 pm

    i had the same exact feelings when i started my grad program, i had my fiance and his son at home and couldnt committ to many things outside of class because of everything going on in life, but it works out and i think you will be surprised that you will find many more like minded people in your classes, at least i did. i even met people who brought cake to class the week after i got married! its a totally different world, grad school, but its fun and i am sure you will do just fine.

  4. August 21, 2010 8:13 am

    What an interesting perspective and I guess I have to agree that I have found myself in the same place. I am not going to grad school full time, but I have made an effort to take as many online classes as possible so I can keep living my life…and get the school work done in my life instead of changing it. I’m sure there are tons of nice people….but I do like my life and my friends and I don’t really want to alter it!

  5. August 21, 2010 12:04 pm

    I was going to leave a comment similar to Arielle’s, and I am glad that you replied saying you have dinner/coffee plans with your new classmates. When I was in grad school, the feeling of instant camaraderie was missing, and I felt pretty lonely. Granted, there was only one other girl in my program… and she was married and busy with her home life. As the girl who wasn’t married, it was really weird not having a classmate to lean on. It’s okay to go home to your husband, and it’s okay to not go out drinking (I don’t do that anyway), but I am really glad to see that you understand that it’s good to have that sense of belonging and to be a team with your fellow grad students.

  6. August 22, 2010 10:17 am

    I have to say, I found it incredibly easy to bond with my colleagues in graduate school…even though I didn’t necessarily want to go out and get drunk all the time. In fact, I would say that we rarely went out and got drunk…there just wasn’t time. Part of the reason I found it so easy was that my program was very small, but part of it is that graduate school is just so different from undergrad. You are all there because you want to be, and you already have similar interests. Plus, you’ll be spending enough time on campus that the relationships will come.

  7. August 23, 2010 9:37 am

    I’ve made a few friends in grad school but not a ton; probably because our program is a night school one and most of us, like you, are busy working + school + being domestic on some level and that’s just a lot to handle! I know that you will be amazing and I bet you that the distance between you and the campus is a very good thing in actuality. 🙂 So excited/happy/proud of you!

  8. Mom permalink
    August 23, 2010 12:35 pm

    I haven’t any doubt. You WILL be amazing!

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