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15 weeks later

December 12, 2012

Today I sit at my desk with 15 weeks, 180 hours of class, 135 graded speeches, and 150 pages of writing behind me. (That 150 pages figure is not an exaggeration; I just opened all the papers I wrote and counted.)

This semester was the hardest 15 weeks of my life. In addition to adjusting to PhD level work, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and struggled with panic attacks. My cat is still sick, my checking account is lower than it’s been all year, my pro-bono work with 20sb has ramped up, and I am still having trouble sleeping.

Despite all this, I feel triumphant. The last 15 weeks have not only been an intellectual challenge, I’ve been challenged in other ways.

….It’s been a social challenge to make new friends at my new school.

….It’s been a time management challenge to figure out how to finish all my work when there aren’t enough hours.

….It’s been a prioritization challenge to identify and articulate what my priorities are and how to honor them.

I’ve been out of my comfort zone for 15 weeks. I’ve identified a need for control precisely when I’ve felt the most out of control. But, you know what? I made it.

I made it.

15 weeks later, I feel like I belong. I feel like I can do this. I feel like I’m where I need to be. If I can get through these 15 weeks, I can get through anything.

So, welcome me back to my blog. Tell me what I’ve missed. πŸ™‚

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine permalink
    December 12, 2012 12:12 pm

    I just stumbled across you blog and I love it! I’m glad you made it through the semester. It can be crazy hard! Currently I am working full time in higher education administration and going to school part time for my phd. Your musings have inspired me to return to school full time, however. So thank you for sharing, especially the life can be complicated but worth it details πŸ™‚

  2. December 12, 2012 12:24 pm

    You are a rockstar, lady!

  3. December 12, 2012 12:25 pm

    Welcome back, Renee! And congrats on making it through those 15 weeks!

  4. December 12, 2012 12:55 pm

    Welcome back, congratulations, and THANK YOU!

  5. December 12, 2012 3:36 pm

    You’re kind of awesome and I’m so proud of you πŸ™‚

    Congrats on rocking life, lady!

  6. December 12, 2012 3:44 pm

    Yay welcome back! You’re not the only one to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder while in grad school, that’s for sure, so don’t feel alone in that. Congrats on your awesome, successful semester!

  7. Jes permalink
    December 12, 2012 4:33 pm

    I’ve been told by some that they think it’s condescending to say that you’re “proud of” someone, but that feels like the most bullshit.

    I’m so proud of you. I’m proud of you for pushing through, I’m proud of you for staying true to your standards and for allowing yourself to do what you had to do in order to meet them. I’m proud to be your friend, I’m proud to have been your colleague and peer, and I’m proud just to know you. I think you’re so great, and I wish that I had more of you in me, and I wish everyone else did too.

    This may or may not be too sappy for a blog comment. Whatevs. xoxoxo

  8. December 13, 2012 1:29 pm

    Congrats for making it through these last 15 weeks. They sounds like quite the ride… and I’m happy you’re happy that you pushed through and MADE IT. (Isn’t there something so wonderful about simply pushing through the challenge and reaching the end for a point?)

    Way to go, lovely! And welcome back!

  9. December 18, 2012 8:42 pm

    The Rocky theme was playing in my head while I read this.

    Well done, love. πŸ˜‰

  10. January 4, 2013 5:06 pm

    YOU ARE BACK I AM SO HAPPY. You’re a champion.

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