I know, you’re all just gagging to know how my first week at university went. I can categorically state I am totally going to LOVE being a student.
However, the glorious photos of the place and proper breakdown of events got put on hold by another one of those “this was not how it was supposed to go” moments which left me very fragile and upset for the latter part of the week, totally taking the shine off the whole experience.
I’m feeling more objective a couple of days on, and there are good things on the horizon. Better still, I have a faith that isn’t just on paper and which has kept me out of the dungeons of despair. I live in hope… not fear. So… be patient with me just a little longer… I’ll get my mojo back and with it will be photos that are taken with much better care and precision than those churned out by my dodgy mobile phone.
In the meantime, I was an idiot and put my hand up to do an assignment in my first week.
I KNOW…I’m one of those students…
Aunty Helpful Dictator says
It’s definitely better to be one of “those” students at this stage. I remember at the start of my PhD I was slightly embarrassed at my own tendency to be the first one to talk, offer to do work and ask questions at the start. I got over it quickly, but I know what you mean about feeling weird about it.
If I can give you some advice going in (or if I could go back 4 years and give myself some advice this is what it would be): first year is tough is a way that’s different to anything I’ve done before or since. It’s about having an idea for research, and then sort of letting go of it to try and see the big picture, and different paths you could go down, and this, eventually, leads you down a path which may or may not be the one you thought you’d go down at the start. Even if you go exactly where you thought you would it’s still important.
In this process you will never feel like you have done enough, or actually produce much work – or if you do produce work it will probably eventually be scrapped completely. This will feel like crap at the time. However as you go on you will realise how valuable this process is, and how some of the things you read and wrote will affect the thesis in some way – some even come back in right at the end. It’s also hugely important for your viva, so you can defend the road you did go down in the long run.
So the thing is that everybody goes through this. A PhD is never a linear process. No-one goes start to finish without twists and turns and loops… and if they say they do they’re lying!! My point is to try not to be too crushed by this, and see it for the valuable part of the process that it is. I think I spent all of my first year in a panic!
I must say i had a little laugh at the “those” people photo, but must say that’s not you at all- Your wonderful beautiful, smart, brave, outgoing, risk taker… Your Mogo will return faster than you know it… May all the sunshine pour down upon you and you feel the warmth upon your face….
thinking of you.
He he he. I did that last semester too: my thought was it is better to get it out of the way quickly [and also hope for a bit of leniency in being #1 :)].
Hurrah for the great feelings, and my prayers and thoughts for those not-so-good moments. God bless, and look forward to continuing to hear about your adventures.
Another one of “those” students checking in. Not only is the assignment out of the way but there are few to whom you can be compared! I’ve found that while this can work both ways, it usually seems to work well for me. If an ethics class assignment or philosophy asks for a 2000 word book review of a choice of books, be not only the first to volunteer, but also be the one that chooses Bonhoeffer over Campolo’s “20 Hot Potatoes.” Lots of brownie points.
Thanks AHD, in this case the study is a Coursework Masters so thankfully the research question is less of an issue. I am just so LOVING having the opportunity to expand and explore my areas of interest, thus the noobish enthusiasm will wane, to be sure. I’ve spent a long time in an environment where those very ideas and enthusiasms were of no interest to anyone in management and of course, having left the ‘company’ they’re now being appropriated left right and centre… go figure…
The crisis was a financial one as a result of the rejection of my claim for govt assistance due to the course I’m doing being slightly left of mainstream professional qualifications. It threw me into a panic as my budget for the year relied on it… however, in the light of such crises creating the need for adaptation and risk taking, already some ideas have come out of it which may be way better in the long run… so, in what is common parlance around her “it’s all good,” (at least, in this hour) I’m feeling less panicky today!!! Maybe I should get on and write the post I meant to write on Tuesday after my first class until the next round of nausea kicks in!!!
I’m so glad you’re enjoying university! You are inspiring. :)