Graduate School…

I got accepted into graduate school last month. I’ll be getting an MA in English, starting in the spring. I guess it was an eventuality. I’ve wanted to do it for a while now, and the timing has never been right.

Last week, it was all celebrating, and feeling accomplished and all of that. But, this week, the novelty has worn off, and I think I’m a little nervous. Like many universities, the school caters more toward the undergraduate, which is fine. A little awkward, but fine.

I remember the graduate students during my undergraduate period. They all seemed sophisticated, smart, and “above it all.” I could be that, right? After all, I do know how to grocery shop and do my own laundry. So, I guess that makes me “above it all?”

But, today, I was on the school’s Facebook page, and it featured photos of the little welcome ceremonies for the new students…largely last semester’s high school seniors…

But, then it panned a shot to a mom moving her little cherub into the dorms, and it occurred to me, that that mom was my age.

Whoa. What am I doing?

It didn’t help that I went to visit the campus last year, and I stopped at a restaurant near the campus. As I waited for my food, I divulged in polite small talk with a random but friendly stranger. I told him I was in town checking out the school, and his earnest response was, “For you or for your child?” OUCH.

But, age issues aside, I am actually excited about this journey. It’s time for a new life, to start over. It’s time for fresh wind, a new direction. I was reading this book called, “You Are a Badass,” by Jen Sincero. It’s a good book, but she talks about just having the courage to go out there, have a good time, and risk falling flat on your face. Because, even if you do fall flat on your face, at least you had a good time. And if you don’t fail, and you actually succeed, well then..you could take your life to a whole new dimension.

I thought about that a lot when I was thinking about graduate school. My goal is to become a better writer. When I was choosing my undergraduate major, it was a toss-up between journalism and English pretty much until the last minute. I chose journalism because, even though creative writing was my heart, I thought a journalism degree would guarantee more earning potential. It didn’t turn out that way, and that’s fine. Now, is there a significant gain to be had to go back and retrace those old steps from all those years ago? Probably not.

But, in the last few years, I’ve taken my career in a different direction. I’ve gravitated more toward writing books than writing articles. While that may not seem a significant difference, I feel like having some formal training in creative writing would benefit me.

But, mainly, I just need a breath of fresh air from my life. I need to connect with a new community, and learn new perspectives, and maybe, just maybe, amidst the stacks of books and papers, I just might meet that someone special….Here’s to hoping. Now all I’ve got to do is arrange a cross-country move. This should be fun.

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