I made it! I’m officially a 3rd year graduate student. Crazy. It still seems like not that long ago I was living on Raven Way and teaching 7th-grade.
This was a challenging year on many fronts. Husband and I have grown a lot as a couple, and I’ve certainly grown a lot as a person. I’ll try to give some basic bullet points.
- Church: We joined our new church called The Well. The teaching there is legit. I can see how God is using our time there to grow us together and grow me in new ways. Am hoping this next year will yield more growth as well as new close friendships.
- Work: I continued teaching online for CBU this year, but the course got a complete overhaul. There was lots of new planning from scratch. It got a little intense around the end of March, but we all survived. I also TA’d two classes for first year doc students. That was an interesting roller coaster of thinking I hadn’t learned much of anything my first year to feeling empowered and motivated to teach and encourage others as much as I could.
- School: Oh my. It was super intense. I’m hoping this will be the hardest year for me. I took a sequence of two classes where I literally didn’t know what was happening for several weeks. Took another sequence that I really enjoyed, but it was so much. I felt like I couldn’t remember much of anything from week to week. I learned so much this year and actually finally feel like I know something, but I am very aware of how little. It was a long road to get to this point. There were many days this year where I questioned if I belonged in grad school, if I was good enough, if I was out of my league, etc.
- Professional: Presented two papers at professional conferences at the end of the semester. It was a super good experience, and I’m super thankful to a good friend and my advisor for these opportunities. The conference was just what I needed as a chance to feel like I belonged in this community. It was also a great chance to start working on some ideas that will hopefully start me on the path to comprehensive exams and dissertation. (Also, can we talk about how dissertation work is practically just around the corner?!)
- Housing: We moved in with two roommates this year. It’s saved us a fair amount of money and has been good for growth. Everyone has to give and take a little to live with others. We’ll be doing this for another year, and then moving to a place of our own as we’re hoping to have Baby Alzen next summer.
- Friendships: I am constantly amazed and humbled by the friendships by which I’ve been blessed both in California and Colorado. The wonders of modern technology have enabled me to continue to nurture and grow relationships with my sweetest and dearest friends in various places around the globe. It was so good to have this network of support when we were in need these year, and it was a joy to support these ladies as they endured various trials of their own. It was also a great joy to make new memories with new friends from the last two years.
I’m fairly certain that I cried the first time this year about a month in. It probably happened about 6 times all in all over the year. I’m told that’s not actually too bad. 😉 Today I’m relaxing a little after one of the most stressful years of my life. I worked many many weeks at 70+ hours. I have no desire to keep that pace up for the rest of my life. The plans for the summer are to work at a normal person’s pace, spend at least a few days laying around doing absolutely nothing, and take a few trips to see some very special friends. Not a bad way to end an arduous but good year.