T minus 5 days and counting. I never thought leaving would be this hard. Having been a military brat, I’m quite accustomed to moving away and leaving friends behind – but I do not remember it ever being this hard. The less time I have left in North Carolina, the less happy I seem to be. When I got my acceptance letter in January 2010, I couldn’t wait for August to get here. Now, I’m wishing I could roll the clock back at least 2 months. At least.
My boyfriend says that he gets sad every time he looks in the closet. Suffice it to say, I started packing this week. My side of the closet is bare, save a few hangers. My drawers are empty, save two. I’ve got a backpack on wheels full of books to keep my company while I’m all alone in my shiny new apartment. The end is nigh!
Never underestimate how difficult a task it is to create a life for oneself. I know that grad school is where I’m meant to be at this point in my life. I know that it will shape and mold me into the scientist and teacher that I hope to become. But imposter syndrome is kicking in hard. That small child inside me that is craves for a single place of belonging is begging me to stay in NC. That devil on my shoulder is telling me “you can’t do this.” But the lease has been signed, promises have been made and intentions spoken. So, I guess I’d better go.
My friends and I are planning to paint the town red tonight. Dinner, followed by one last foray into drunken debauchery. Yippee. One last night to remember how we met, all the shenanigans we’ve gotten into, the people we communally hate. It should be fun, but, honestly, I want to curl up into the fetal position and not move. I had the opportunity to go to Purdue a full 2 months early and complete some “extra” research – fully funded of course. I applied. I never heard back. Now, I’m happier than ever that I wasn’t accepted into the program. I wouldn’t have had this time to spend with my boyfriend, to see my pregnant best friend and meet her husband, to rediscover my passion for writing. I wouldn’t have had this time to have pizza parties with my GameStop crew.
So, my advice to you dear reader, should you choose to accept it, is to take the last summer before you start a masters or PhD program to have fun. And by have fun, I mean take a trip somewhere you’d never ordinarily go. Read all the books that strike your fancy and play video games until 3 am. Go out with your friends or stay in with them. Drink adult beverages and take random trips to Wal-mart for play-doh at midnight. The most important thing is that you take the time to do the things you love with the people you love the most. Grad school is already difficult, but it is especially hard if you are moving far, FAR, away from home. You want to have memories of “that time when.”
We are all called to do something of significance in our lives. Those calls take us away from the familiar. Don’t underestimate how difficult that is, as I did. The months leading up to grad school should be spent surrounded by family and friends and doing little devious things (like ballooning your significant other’s car for instance…). It should be spent surrounded by those you love and those that love you. It is during this time that you will need them the most. They are the ones that will remind you that you are capable of greatness. They are the ones that will be there for you during those first few socially awkward weeks.
Until next time audience.