This year has already seen the starts and ends of endeavors, seen their growth and their end. New challenges have been undertaken, and getting back into the swing of things has reminded me just how much I need to improve on when it comes to making myself into a better, more fulfilled individual.
I started my second to last semester of undergrad education (hopefully) in the latter part of January. I have been to all four of my classes, and I think that I will enjoy them a lot. I am lucky to have enthusiastic professors as instructors–people who are passionate about their field of study and can get their students to care about the subject matter. Even in my Research Methods course, a class I have been dreading since I knew it was a requirement, may not actually turn out as badly as I once feared. It will be stressful, and I am already beginning to feel the effects of procrastination and other stresses. That fear creeps in, and I know I just have to keep telling myself to get on track, and everything will be fine. Sometimes, this sounds like absolute bull to me, especially when the stress seems to just pile up on itself ever higher.
I have agreed to do something that I still cannot believe I chose to do–I have endeavored to enter a research competition. One of my professors gave me high praise for the papers I turned in for one of his classes last semester, and now with his help I will be submitted and composing and presenting the material from my first paper. At first, I had reservations about doing it, since if I move on to the next stage of the competition, I might have had to miss a dear friend’s wedding. However, the Save The Date card assured me that there wouldn’t be a date conflict. Then I just had to confront my insecurities and fears. I have never thought I was the kind of smart student to participate in stuff like this. I’ve been school-smart, sure, but not research competition smart. I’m also absolutely terrified, and sometimes my mind races in an effort to find a way out of this new experience. However, this fear is precisely why I have to go through with it, because it’s something I’ve never done before. I’m accepting the risks and still aiming to hold my head up high, with shaking hands and a wealth of uncertainty balled up inside.
I applied for graduation for the Fall 2017 semester. After this semester (fingers crossed) I should only have to take one more class to fulfill all the necessary requirements. In a few weeks I’ll receive a huge stack of papers that I will then take to an adviser, who will help me get through the paperwork. I’m hoping that once the application is submitted, it ends up approved, because no one wants me to be done more than I do. I have waited seven years for the chance to call myself a Bachelor’s Degree Holder, and I don’t want to put that moment off any longer. I want to walk in the Spring 2018 commencement ceremony, then take steps to prepare for the rest of my life. Although I have received several comments from well-meaning professors, I don’t intend to graduate school because of a host of reasons. Since I do aim to only take one class next semester, I strive to attain employment and at least a driver’s permit this Fall. This calls into play some more of those insecurities and fears I was talking about earlier.
My New Year’s Resolution
As a Valentine’s Day gift, my boyfriend took me to Barnes & Noble to pick out a book or game of my choice to purchase. Keeping to the resolution I made a while back–to become more comfortable with my nonreligious identity and how to navigate with it in my daily life–, I chose Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible, by Jerry A. Coyne. This has been on my wish list for a while, so when I saw that there was just one copy left on the shelves, I couldn’t pass it up. I have seen very good reviews on this book, and my ultimate hope is that I will learn from its contents and become a better person for it.
I hope everyone is doing well. Please keep your head up, and do your best to take care of yourself. Because without you, your work will never be done–no one can do it like you.