Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Graduate School Update

I'm about halfway through my first semester as a graduate student in the Higher Education program at Texas Tech University.

I figure it's a good time to do some reflection.

So far, it's been an amazing experience for me. I won't talk about work, or my personal life, because there's just too much for me to talk about. I will say though, that I've met some amazing people in which I can't wait to see where our friendships take us, and I'm seeing some great things happening in the workplace and I love being a part of it.

Having A Cohort:
I remember when I was interviewing with schools at OPE, the word cohort was dropped as if it should have been in my vocab for years. It was not. I didn't understand what that was even through my first on-campus interview. I would just smile, nod, and say, "This sounds great!"

For those of y'all who may be in the position I was in: Basically, a cohort is a group of students that take the same classes together from the beginning of the program, to the end of the program.

I love this, because already, my cohort has begun to build an amazing bond with each other that I don't think would have happened otherwise. We actually want to hang out outside of class. Who does that?! Cohorts. That's who. I'm so excited. (We're planning a get together for this weekend!)

In class, we take turns making fun of each other, and then flip sides to back each other up. Because we're comfortable with each other, and it's great. I love it.

Sucks. But at the same time, it's kind of fun. And maybe it's just because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but I Always stress out about an assignment thinking that I'm going to do terrible. Then I start panicking that I'm going to fail, get kicked out of the program, and have to move back to Wisconsin. Dear God, please don't make me move back to Wisconsin! Haha!

I freak out, work my big ol' butt off, think it's the best thing ever, turn it in, go back to freaking out about how I could have improved some aspect, stop caring, then get an email with my grade. Freak out again, check it, and it's either full points or close to it. I'm doing quite well! I'm just a worried, nut-ball.

But in all reality, I'm seriously enjoying my classes and the work I'm doing in them. I'm currently doing research in a field in which I know next to nothing about, and finding that there is actually not a lot of research in this area. Even though I'm finding it next to impossible to get what I need for my research, my professor in that class has provided me with nothing short of encouraging words that somehow take away any concerns and restore faith in myself. I have amazing support here and the faculty so far have been nothing but happy.

I can't wait to learn more in these upcoming semesters.

I'm also extremely proud to be a Red Raider.

<3 Tawny

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's Just Another Monday

I hear this every week. And it seriously bothers me.

Every other conversation goes something like:
"Hey! How are ya?"
"Eh, you know, it's Monday."

No. I don't know. Explain it to me. Or maybe I can explain it to you.

Mondays are days like any other. I mean, I used to despise Thursdays because, I swear that for the longest time, something terrible happened to Teenager Tawny every Thursday and I ended up associating such negativity with it. But anyway.

What's so bad about Mondays?
I have an idea. Mondays are socially constructed to induce negativity upon your poor brains so that you slosh around work and school feeling bad about your life. It gives you an excuse to be a negative Nancy and have people feel bad for you. Because it's Monday, and everyone else hates it. You've fallen into the lesson and have to hate it yourself.

"Why are you so glum, munchkin?"
"It's Monday."
"Awe, yeah I know. Hang in their pumpkin, the day's half over and it'll be Tuesday before you know it."
"Yeah, I'm trying. Thanks Sue."

No! Slap yourself for me. You're being ridiculous.

Guess what?
Mondays occur... EVERY... WEEK! And they don't just happen to you. They aren't out to get you. Everyone lives through Mondays right along with you. They're marked on every calendar you buy. What do you do? Dread them so much that you completely black the days out before you even bring your calendar home?

"My birthday's on a Monday this year... this is going to suck..."
Why? Because you can't get schwasty-pants that night? Because you have to work the next day? Or just because it's a Monday?

Why are you so upset?! Shouldn't you instead embrace the blessing of seeing another day's light? Shouldn't you be happy that you have the capability of working in general? Shouldn't you just be happy to be alive? Maybe you should actually try to enjoy your weekends more instead of just sitting on the couch all day in sweatpants eating potato chips and watching Breaking Bad marathons on Netflix. It sounds like fun at the time I bet, right? But in all reality, you've wasted a couple of precious days to have fun, work on a hobby, or get all of your errands done for the week. Because when Sunday night rolls around, you realize, "Oh no, I've wasted another weekend." And then you slum around all day Monday wishing for your weekend back and praying that the week goes by quickly in wait for Friday afternoon.

Shouldn't you learn by now? We're intelligent creatures, right? Stop letting a single word get you down. There's no avoiding Mondays. They are Just. Days! Get over it. Get over yourself. Turn the lights on at the pity party and be happy for once.

Break away from the endless cycle of glum. Listen to some Bananarama and play some fun music if that's what helps.

This is life.
<3 Tawny