My Last First Day

Yesterday was my last first day of school. I started my second year of graduate school at the University of Montevallo. Classes officially started on Monday, but since I’ve only got one class this semester that meets on Wednesdays from 5-7:30 p.m., I considered yesterday my last first day of school.

I wore my Welcome to Night Vale “Mostly Void; Partially Stars” shirt, some dark-wash jeans, black flats, and my Ravenclaw cardigan (because the classrooms are FREEZING).

If you had come to me, back in August 2012, and told me where I would be in five years, I would have laughed in your face. I never would have believed I’d lose my first boyfriend (and good riddance to the jerk!), I never would have believed I’d go on to graduate school, and I never would have believed the immense suffering that’s put me where I am today. I’ve come so far and lost so freaking much to be where I am, it’s physically painful.

I know I’ve told you I live with anxiety and depression, and that they’ve increased a thousandfold over the past month. (Yesterday marked one month without him.) It’s been a struggle my entire college career, but now that I’ve got an official diagnosis, I can move forward with the right steps.

So last night, when I sat in that freezing seminar room and realized I knew nobody else in the class (14 people total; 3 seniors; 3 grad students including me but the other two are just starting their graduate careers; and 8 juniors), I nearly cried.

I’ve gone through a lot to get where I am. Every time I feel like I’ve finally gotten out of the rut of bad luck I live, something new comes along to make sure I stay down, and puts me down even further for good measure.

I did an overview of my first year of grad school at the beginning of the summer. I thought I had everything worked out for the last year.

I’ve spent the summer procrastinating on completing my pre-prospectus. (I think it was due on August 15?) I’ve got all the edits and comments from my professor, but I haven’t opened it and done the edits and sent it on to my thesis advisor. For whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to work on it.

I guess I’m scared to fail.

There’s been so much in my life that I’ve failed at (love being the biggest one), and I’m scared I’m not going to be able to graduate. I’ve got two classes left, this Austen class and then an ENG 590 class in the spring. And sometime during that, I’ve got to finish writing a novel.

So I’ve got some goals, that will hopefully stretch over the entirety of my last year of graduate school.

  1. Believe in myself. It’s only the first week of class and I’m already freaking out about the 20-page seminar paper due at the end of the semester.
  2. Don’t procrastinate. I’ve literally only got one class. I have no excuse to procrastinate now.
  3. Find some time to breathe. I might not seem to have a busy schedule now, but I know it’s going to get so much worse as time goes on.

Man, if you could see what I keep writing and deleting in this post, you’d think I was crazy.

I’ve got two semesters of college left, and then I’m done forever. There will be no more school after May 5th. I’m hoping and I’m praying that I make it. (And hey, I’ve made a nifty little graphic to mark all my grad student posts. Cool, huh?)

Good luck to all of you in school, and I hope your years are amazing.

As always, keep reading.

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