Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grad School Jitters

I am terrified.  Terrified of going back to school.  I mean, I am really excited because I like going to school but there are a lot of questions around going back.  Did I choose the right field (I had 2 majors to pick from and went with the unexpected one, should I have gone with the safe one)?  Is this is a good school?  Is it worth the drive there and back every day?  Am I going to be able to survive financially?  Will all my undergrad math come back to me?  Will I do ok in my classes?  Will I find a research topic I enjoy and succeed in?  Will I be able to pass the qualifying exams?

See, aren't you terrified now??

So I was thinking about a team I'm on called Fabulous Fitness.  It is a great bunch of mostly ladies (don't worry, I didn't forget you Mike!) who are all healthy, active, supportive, and just plain wonderful.  I never really was too active with any of the teams that you can participate on in Spark People but for some reason when FabFit moved over and opened a page on Facebook, I started to pay more attention.  Actually, I've made some many friends there from the FabFit team that my Facebook feed is 75% FF friends and only like 25% people I know in person.  Ha!  But I like it that way, they keep me motivated.  Anyway,  they have a saying for this team

Be Brave.  Be Bold.  Be Fierce.  Be Fabulous.

I started to think about how that fit into my life with fitness and health and then I realized its about how to live your entire life, not just your health.  I thought about how it would fit into my journey going back to grad school. 

Be Brave:  I took the steps to apply for grad school.  That was a huge step because I knew it meant I would actually have an opportunity to go back to school.  And then all those quesitons above starting popping into my head.

Be Bold:  I got the acceptance letter and I immediately sent back my reply that I would be attending this fall.

Be Fierce:  I am going to apply this to my studies, my classes, and my research.  I know I am a smart girl and I know that if I put my mind to it, I can totally succeed.  I just have to be determined.  Fierce is the perfect word for this.

Be Fabulous:  I am also a little worried about losing the self I've built over the last 2 years.  I want to be keep running, I want to keep eating healthy, I want to keep looking sharp.  I am going to continue to take care of myself while I go back to school so that I can be fabulous!

And as for my mantra, It's Not an Option, that is easy to make a list:

It's not an option to not go back to school (especially at this point!).
It's not an option to not succeed in my classes.
It's not an option to not pass the qualifiers.
It's not an option to slack off on my research.
It's not an option to give up my healthy life.
It's not an option to doubt myself.
It's not an option to not finish.

I posted a funny cartoon yesterday about why someone would go to grad school.  It is so true and made my laugh.  Why am I going back?  Well, its just something I always thought I would do, get my PhD.  Why?  Well, because I want to.  And then it dawned on my that most people don't have this crazy ambition of getting a PhD.  The fact that I even want to pursue one has already skyrocketed me in my field.  I always have a little self doubt, even though I do excellent in my classes all the while being a total procrastinator and a bit of a slacker.  I find math comes pretty easy to me (when I have a good teacher anyway).  So why am I so worried?  I know it will be hard but deep down inside I know I can do it.  This was a complete revelation for me.  All this time I was so worried about failing when I really knew that I would be fine.

Classes start on Monday.  Terrified.  I just have to remember...

Be Brave.

Be Bold.

Be Fierce.

Be Fabulous.

And as for not succeeding?

It's Not an Option.


Lasherthecat said...

Awesome Ang!!

I sure the math will come back to you. What is the field exactly?

Angela said...

The program is a Doctorate in Optics (physics program). Really worried about remembering all that physics too! Eek!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for checking out my blog! Good luck with school!!

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