New beginnings have always excited me, the idea of a fresh start, new looks, new goals, a brighter shinier me! January first excites me but living the academic life I have been also the start of each semester have the same effect. So even though it’s the end of August I still get to thrive on that New Year thrill. While it is the start of a new semester this back-to-school also holds a lot more change for me. I am starting in a Ph.D program at Penn State. I have picked up and moved my life 6 hours from my friends, family, and all the comforts of familiarity. I came down early to get started in my new lab, so I’m less likely to get lost when the semester starts ( but not impossible the campus is so much big then where I did my undergrad) pretty much everything else will change, and while it exciting its also a little nerve-racking.
Next week is my first official week as a grad-student it’s filled with orientations, meetings and a campus tour I had a crisis over (more on that below) then the following week classes start on Monday! I’m in three classes and have a commitment of working 20 hours in lab. Over the next few days I’m working to get organized for the start of the semester and hoping to get into a system that will last. I’ve been looking into quick breakfast and lunch ideas and have started meal prepping on Sunday nights for the week. While I love cooking I often will use it as a distraction when I should be getting work done. I also need to do a little back-to-school shopping, everything from clothes, to office supplies, to the little things that hold my life together whether they seem important or not. I’ve been working on a list and will probably make a post of it all later.
As the semester is a new beginning I like to make new goals or remind myself of ones I’m still working on. I find writing them down with ideas on how to accomplish them helps me stick to them so I’m going to share them to hopefully really make them stick!
Fall Semester 2017 Goals:
- Use time wisely. I am a huge procrastinator. I know it’s bad but I haven’t been able to stop so my goal is instead of giving up procrastinating to just procrastinate better. Previously I would sit with my stuff out but I would be on social media or texting friends. Now if I don’t want to start an assignment I won’t start but instead I’ll get up from the assignment and use that time for laundry, meal prep, a work out, a blog post. That way I’m still doing things I need to i’m just shuffling the order until I have no choice but to start.
- Keep up with old friends-but don’t let it stop me from making new ones. With graduation I had a lot of acquaintances but more importantly I had a few really good friends and I don’t want to lose them. So I want to make it a priority to check in if I don’t her from them in a while. A like on instagram is nice and leaves you feeling good but but a “Hey, how have you been?” text will maintain a relationship. To do this I will have to get over my fear that if I text first I’ll be annoying the person but I think I can. I also want to reach out in other ways like sending a card or little gifts if something really made me think of them.
- Even though I want to keep those friendships I want to meet people here. This is hard for me for many reasons one of which is I’m still working on the balance part of life. Another reason it that I am horribly awkward and I get in my head and over think things. Earlier I mentioned freaking out about the campus tours and I’m going to explain now. The orientation was required but the tour was not. While I’ve been here a while I know how to get to the few buildings I need but I don’t know anywhere else. I could probably get a lot out of the tour but I also didn’t want to be judged for being the need that takes a tour. But also if I take the tour i could meet some people before the orientation and have have people to talk to before entering a room with 100+ strangers. In the end I decided to take the tour because it said it left from a building I had to look up on a map and I decided I needed it. Plus I got into grad school by being the nerd that takes the tour. That’s who I am and I’m doing pretty well so far. But all in all I’m going to put myself out there and the people I do meet I will share my time and attention with.
- Actually Study. I didn’t really start studying until half way through college and even then I wasn’t really consistent. My goal is to put more effort into actively studying and finding new ways that help me to understand and remember the material.
- Try at least one new food per week. This is unrelated to school which I like. It will give me something to look forward to and new chances to grow as an eater and cook.
- Wash dirty dishes immediately. Speaking of cooking, I kind of hate doing dishes and now that I’m alone the pressure to do them is gone. But I need to fit this so I can stay organized and keep my kitchen clean. Three dishes now is better than 14 dishes tomorrow night. I will chant over and over until all the dishes are clean.
I’m so excited for the new semester and I would love to hear if you have and ideas or comments on my feelings and goals and if you have and of your own you want to share!