“You will feel isolated. You’re not alone.”
That statement, spoken to the assembled students at the graduate orientation just weeks ago, didn’t really strike me until today. Today when I made the first of what I’m sure are many social sacrifices for the sake of couch riding with my textbook, my computer and my trusty ballpoint pen for notes.
I should clarify I’ve been moving away from the party life for the past almost four years. The thought of stumble bumbling around the club in four-inch heels, swaying to the bass and trying to one-eye drive my way back north of town just no longer has any appeal to me. Nowadays, give me two drinks for the night, some techno to jump around to and the enjoyment of being in bed by 2, not being in line to get my car at 2:30. Just the standard evolution of life I think; can’t be the party girl forever. You get a reputation, Dallas is kind of a small town that way.
So when I found myself texting my friend, pulling the “rain check” card and then getting comfortable with a plate of Soba Tofu takeout and Chapter 4 (The Communicator & Sociopsychological Tradition), I knew it got real. My two sources of knowledge on the grad school pledging, I mean education, process are my older sister and work associate turned confidant Armando. I distinctly remember my sister telling me to get all my fun-having out this past summer, because once classes start the graduate student guilt will prevent me from being able to enjoy a night out, knowing I have dozens of pages of reading waiting for me when I get back, all fuzzy-head and good times. But I didn’t want to believe fat meat was greasy (shout out to my mom for that useful phrase), thinking to myself “Bump that, I’ll be able to hang.” Fast forward to sleeping on the couch because it’s comfortable and a lifelong dislike of waking up early, leading to late nights at work, and I’m rethinking my approach to how I spend free time.
I conquered part one of Chapter 4, which thankfully is a much more tolerable reading than last week’s brain drain. Tomorrow, the only outside time I get is the gym. Then it’s part two and three, as well as those lovely 20-page journal articles. Did I mention I’m an avid note-taker, making this process nearly twice as long as just reading?
Since we’re talking school, the first test is here and gone. Midterms in a month or so. All in all, I haven’t jumped off the roof yet but there’s more to come.