March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
Life comes in chapters.
Not neat chapters. Not like Chapter 1, followed by 2, followed by 3. Or at least, mine hasn’t been that cut and dry. But intertwining chapters that tell the story of a life lived. Chapters come and go, and are occasionally revisited. But, when one chapter ends, it is sad.
So that is what I feel today. The end of my chapter. I had my last official lecture at college today. I’ve been here for 5.5 years, and it has become my home. A few professional courses, one presentation, and 2 finals away from leaving the official coursework for grad school for good. And while graduation isn’t until August, this almost feels like a bigger milestone. I am setting forth, moving on, flying the nest as they say (I think?) 1 week from today will be my last night in this small town, probably for good (but hey, you never know right? I did say some chapters are re-visited…)
I don’t really like to dwell, because sad emotions tend to stick with me for a long time. I don’t mind reminiscing or even shedding a few tears, but I’m not going to spend eons of time commemorating my time in graduate school.
Honestly, it’s weird. I am a student. That’s what I do. And while technically I’ll still be a student until August 5, 2012, it feels odd to know I won’t be sitting at my desk again, turning around to talk to the dude behind me, turning to my best friend/seat mate to share answers and plan our day. It’s funny because I almost feel like life has been weaning me off that anyway.
Leaving undergraduate to come to graduate school felt like a completely different world, so the world of undergrad/barely studying/2 hour naps during the day was gone in August 2009, and truthfully I can barely remember most of it. I have good memories, don’t get me wrong. But the in’s and out’s of the days, the agony of picking my own schedule (haha) is kind of a distant memory by this point.
First year grad school was spent mainly with one person, my study partner, just surviving. That’s a whole different story, but basically, it involved a lot of BS&T, wit little or no time to socialize.
Second year brought a new marriage, bringing me a little closer to the life I know now. More time spent diversifying my interests, a little less time spent with my best friend / study partner ( henceforth known as BFSP). Or, rather, different time. Time still spent studying, but more time on other pursuits.
First semester of my 2nd year was difficult, as I was dealing (rather badly) with an anxiety disorder, but with some counseling and time, 2nd semester of 2nd year became the beginning of “slack off” time. I have great memories of 2nd year 2nd semester and summer semester. Beach volleyball, chicago trips, etc. So began my really cherishing of grad school. And then 3rd year brought an abrupt end. 2 clinicals back to back brought me slowly into the professional world. BFSM got engaged, and became otherwise distracted (not in a bad way, just different) and my friends scattered.
And so perhaps this past 10 weeks can be looked at as one of those chapter’s revisited. I still go home to my husband every weekend, but 4-5 days out of every week has been spent with good friends, good conversation, and very little school work. It has FLOWN by, as time tends to do when you’re living it. No 9-5 schedule. Plenty of good exercise classes. TV time 🙂 It’s been, dare I say, almost blissful?
I am looking forward to moving on. I think in life you have to be. While, truthfully, I’m learning more and more to become engulfed in the present and stop constantly agonizing over the future. But I mean, I know it’s coming and I can either dread it or embrace it. And right now I’m falling pretty strongly on the embracing side. But, this move pretty much defines the meaning of bittersweet.
I won’t ever be in a classroom full of people sharing my life at that point. Empathetic (some…), energetic, compassionate (haha some…), and so diverse. I won’t experience the camaraderie of day to day life with my peers. I know work is somewhat similar, but I’ve tested out the waters on clinical, and I can say that it isn’t the same. I’m sad. I am.
This chapter has truly changed me as a person, and affected my inner being. Not to be to poetical or anything. But honestly. My soul is different. I think, in a good way. But this has forever affected the course of my life, changed who I am and how I react to situations and those around me. Given me coping mechanisms (good and bad) and great memories to cherish.
I have so much to look forward to. New friendships, starting a family, buying our first house, getting my first job, growing old with the best man I know. But right now, I look back. Back to a time that shaped me into what I am today, definitely not perfect, but better than when I started. I cherish this chapter, and know that every once in a while, maybe after a phone call to BFSM or any number of sorority housemates, I’ll revisit it, and it will be happy memories.