grad school chronicles: orientatio and anxiety attacks

yesterday was the grand poo-bah of orientation days. except – super low-key. seriously. the post-grad master’s students (anyone who is entering grad school after graduating from undergrad) arrived at 8:30 for breakfast (coffee! huzzah!) and mingling. we met a lot of the professors. one of them is the head of the nerdy summer camp i attended throughout high school – we chatted for a while and i’m considering applying to be staff this coming summer. it would be great teaching experience, and a change of pace from my normal summer routine.

after a leisurely breakfast, we met with our advisers (advisors? my brain wants that to be spelled with -or).

i LOVE mine. oh man. she’s fabulous. tiny and with a lot of crazy grey hair and neon green toenails…super-enthusiastic, and she clearly loves her job. i lucked out. she leaves the country at the end of september for the practicum abroad (more on that later), but is responsive and friendly and set my mind at ease.

which was good. the manfriend said i was making worried sounds in my sleep over the weekend. i have stress dreams, but not about school. there was one where i was smuggling semi-precious jewels around virginia and was worried i would get caught. or one where i woke up at 5 am and was late, late, late for something.

but yesterday i talked to the girls in my program, and they all said they felt the same anxiety. my dad pointed out that college has become an expected experience, but grad school is a choice (and yes, college is a choice. but in our society, i think going to grad school is viewed much differently than going to college.) – and a big choice. an expensive choice. the butterflies i feel are extra-large because i’m taking on the debt for this. and i’m calling this the first big step towards the career i want. hi, that’s intimidating. but after meeting people yesterday, i am pretty sure that i’m making the right choice. and that the women i’m going to be studying with are going to help me along the way.