A couple weeks ago, I started a new chapter in my life. Going to graduate school for the second time has been interesting. It’s full of concerns that are washed away quickly, frustrations that I can’t get around, bumps I didn’t foresee, and happiness.
I realized early on that it wasn’t the course work that was going to be difficult, it was really time management. Luckily this is my strong suit, so it’s been working out so far. I’ve had to overcome a handful of challenges in the first two weeks. Having to take a class on Monday/Wednesday in addition to my Tuesday/Thursday courses, getting my professor to let me take a different lab because I couldn’t attend my own due to work, or learning that waking up at 5am was necessary to be on time were definitely things that threw me and my schedule for a loop. In any given week, I’m working 23 hours in addition to four classes plus a lab, volunteering at the hospital, and advising at Girl Scouts. This is in addition to doing homework, trying to see friends, working out, and driving.
It’s strange being one of the few people who work, but it’s definitely something I couldn’t give up. As a result, I know I have (and will) miss out on social events with my cohort, but I do know I have the next four years with them. It’s also hard since I live an hour from school. Moving my work schedule has been difficult and hard. One is cooperative and understanding while the other hasn’t been.
It’s weird being a first year again and for the last time. With my masters, I didn’t get this feeling because I was there for one year and knew it at the start. It’s strange to not know where things are but fun to discover them. I always try and set goals when I’m starting something new. I bought a five year journal because I know I want to be able to look back at my journey through the doctoral program. I am also trying to set aside time for just me and time with God. I know both of these are things I could easily let slip through the cracks and I know they’re important to me. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store throughout my doctoral program.