It's a strange thing, walking back onto a college campus again after being away for so long. Being a grad student is a new ball game for me... I don't have friends to talk to or meet for a quick lunch between classes, I'm still learning where all my classes are located and how this new university's system works, and I definitely am adjusting to the feeling of lugging books from place to place. It's been an overwhelming couple of days involving the filling out of lots of drop/add forms and a visit to virtually every HR office on campus, but as I sit here tonight I feel like I'm off to a good start. I think I'm going to really enjoy my courses and the professors who will be teaching them. It's nice to feel like I have a clear set goal that I can work towards while knowing I have the correct means to achieve the end.
It's funny- I sat in one of my classes today watching all of the students trickle in around me. This particular course is an undergrad prerequisite that I have to take and it's a larger class- about 75 students. I sat and I observed and I couldn't help but laugh a little to myself. All around me I watched the familiarities of college. I reminisced about when I was at Baylor, with a huge world in front of me, unsure of my next week, much less my next semester. I watched the girls in their sorority t-shirts and shiny hair flirt with the cute boys in front of them. I listened to the obvious athletes chat with one another about their next practice. And I spied the loner-types take their usual back seat far away from the crowd. All of it was so familiar. I remembered so vividly being in that place- loving my small world and enjoying so much the freedom that I felt. And in that moment, it was all I could do to not yell down to all of them- "Enjoy this time! Don't take it for granted! This is one of the best times of your life!"... and it was then that I knew the truth. I, once again, have become my mother.
But it's true in a lot of ways. I miss my years in college so much some days it hurts. I miss the carefree spirit of it all. I miss the late night hang outs and the spontaneous outings. It was so fun. In fact, it was the very definition of fun. But then I realize- I like my life now too. It may be very different, but it's still spontaneous and spirited. I love my friends and I still love my freedom.
So, while going back to school may be a bit of a reality check on what my life is not, it is also a good reminder of what it is-
And who knows? Maybe this is the best time in my life...