What I’ve learned…

1. I belong here.

This is by far the most important.  My background is rigorous enough, coming from a small liberal arts college, I really wasn’t sure if my undergrad education was hard enough.  I felt like maybe some of these kids that had come from larger schools were some how better prepared.  That doesn’t appear to be the case at all.  I appear to be equally prepared.  I also belong here in the sense that people like Pam and I here.  We have friends here, we are accepted here and people are welcoming.  Finally, it means that I am smart enough to be here.  I am as insightful as many of the other students, and I have been as productive.  My writing, while not the best, also isn’t the worst.

2. I am not the smartest.

This wasn’t a big shock, but I am not a special student.  I am not a prodigy.  There will be other students in the department who are more productive, and just better at this shit.  I’m not surprised, and to be honest it is kind of a relief.

3.  So far, grad school isn’t what I was expecting.

It is challenging, but I think my background better prepared me for it than some other students.  Having to work as an undergrad made procrastination a mortal sin.  Now, having multiple tasks thrown at me from different directions isn’t something new.  I thought I was going to get killed, but I’m doing quite well actually and am comfortable with the workload.  I do get the impression that things will get harder, but that is ok.  I can deal with that.

4.  House parties.

As an undergrad, we all went to house parties, mostly because we were underage and couldn’t go to bars.  As we got older, the bars were the scene.  Now, we are back to house parties for whatever reason.  Maybe because it is much cheaper?  Maybe because we don’t want to run in to our students at the bar?  I’m not really sure, but it is a fun and interesting development.

5.  I have a fantastic adviser.

He is supportive.  He is intelligent.  He is a cool fun person to be around.  He isn’t perfect, but I feel like any shortcomings can easily be covered by my committee selection.  Further, the people I have lined up to be on my committee do compliment each other quite well.  One of the most striking revelations of my first semester is how often other students praise my adviser.  I am very pleased with my final decision.

6. My department is very laid back.

People are relaxed.  People have fun with each other.  There are some seminar courses that end up as a party.  We have socials after speakers and they are a blast.  We have many fun and interesting people and we have a good time.  We are also some of the nerdiest people on the planet, but we have a good time.  It is awesome.  It is really cool to see people after they have had a drink or two.  They relax, they open up, conversation becomes easier.  I prefer that to stuffiness.


~ by epiphron13 on December 4, 2010.

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