Read through any of our blogs this quarter, and it’s pretty clear that first-year MLHR students are a stressed out bunch. We’re juggling class projects, work, family obligations, group presentations, interviews, massive loads of reading, along with all the other travails of daily living. After a while it can make you either want to pull up the covers and lie low, or head to the Varsity Club to forget it all. Either option seems acceptable.
I thought I was handling it all fairly well…and then one of my friends called me before class Tuesday night. This was a little unusual since we normally communicate through email or text, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless. And then he told me why he was calling. Apparently my emails had been a bit of a downer lately, to the point that someone was now concerned about my stress level. Hmmm…I thought my “colorful” emails were just good old-fashioned story swapping. But who am I kidding, between all of the aforementioned stuff, I am also swirling in stress stew. I miss having supper with my kids during the week and tucking them. I miss not feeling compelled to study at every turn. I miss sleeping through the night without thoughts of exam questions burning up my brain. I miss reading for pleasure! Essentially, I miss my life between undergrad and now.
That said, I’m glad to be here. I wanted this! I applied to this program and accepted it above others! There is much to appreciate. So now I give you some of the good things about life at Fisher, or the rainbows and butterflies of this quarter, as I like to think of them.
1. Meeting New People. This group of fellow students is the most I could have asked for. They are smart, fun, talented, interesting, unique and caring. There truly is a collaborative, supportive spirit here that I don’t believe can be faked. And everyone seems to have a good sense of humor. This helps, A LOT!
2. Driving at Night. I live about 35 miles from campus, so I’m driving quite a bit these days. I’m enjoying the night drive, though. Seeing downtown lit up like a Christmas tree is a pretty sight. The traffic is low, but I always find that one car shooting out I-70 at about 85 mph. And I’m making good use of the Sirius stations on the radio. I can sing; it doesn’t matter. No one else is along for the ride.
3. Adults in the Classroom. I always had that feeling in undergrad that the professors thought we were kids. I wonder why?!? That’s not the case now. They talk to us like adults, we share our stories from the career world, and there’s a real sense of peer collaboration. This is nice.
4. Electronics in the Classroom. Fisher’s facilities are nice. I’ve sat in dank basement environments, gigantic lecture halls, and uninspiring classroom settings (Denney Hall, anyone?). I sometimes forget how nice and comfortable it is to sit at a table with an adjustable office chair and computer plug ins…along with cup holders at every seat! I try to avoid bringing my laptop to class because I’m afraid I’ll get distracted while taking notes. But, it’s nice to know it’s an option. In the meantime, my ipod touch keeps me connected to the outside world, just in case. Gone are the days when a professor would stop class entirely because someone was reading the Lantern.
5. Going Somewhere. Perhaps the biggest rainbow, prettiest butterfly or fastest galloping unicorn in all of this is finally feeling like my career is starting to go somewhere. I spent too many years hoping to find the proverbial pot of gold with my last career to take for granted how fortunate I am to be starting a new one with Fisher. So, I may stress or complain, I may whine and pout, but I’m always thankful to be here.