Reflections: Grad school year 1

Next week I return ‘home’ for ‘the summer.’ This means that year one of graduate school is done, over, finished, etc. And what a year it has been. In reality, it has been about 10 months since I left the comfort of Bel Air and truly moved out on my own, it’s been 13 months since graduation at Maryland, and it’s been a full year since Erin and I returned from our graduation road trip. Man, time really flies.

Even though I never felt it while it was happening, as I am sitting here thinking about the year that has gone by, I guess I can conclude that A LOT has happened and that I actually have learned A LOT. A few of my thoughts:
• I finally started taking school really seriously and realized that I wouldn’t be able to just ‘slide’ through anymore schooling. Not to say that I didn’t work really, really hard (at times) in High School and College, but this was the first time I felt that I actually had to put a lot of effort, thought and consideration into school to even pass the classes. In High School, it was a question of getting an A or a B, or maybe a high A compared to a low A. At the same time, I finally felt a lot more compelled to actually learn and understand the material rather than just pass the class.

• I learned I can’t do everything and that sometimes the pressures of life mean that you have to slow down or even fail at times. Also, I learned that some of the small failures are okay “as long as you win the war.” In the end, who cares that I had to a drop a class, or that I chose to postpone taking an elective, and therefore will be completing my degree approximately 6 months later than originally planned?

• I eat way too much ketchup. Way, way too much. I think it might be a problem.

• Even thought the weather generally sucks in Denmark, there are a few things that (almost) make up for it: (1) the longest day of the year means that the sun rises at 4:39 and goes down at 22:04, meaning I almost forgot about how sucky/dark/cold the winter was (8:40/15:30). Going to bed when it is light out and waking up when it is light out is amazing. As is going out to a bar and it being light out (again) on your way home. (2) The Danes are great at going outside and proclaiming “summer” as soon as the sun peaks out behind a few clouds or as soon as the temperature rises above 15C (65-70ish F). Something about appreciating the sun and heat more when you don’t have so much of it.

• Along those same lines, I have never been more excited to go to the BA this summer. It really is a great place, even if it is slightly boring, out of the way, and typical suburbia. Who knew?

See you soon!

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