Home in ColoRADo

I’ve been back home in Colorado since Sunday. I left Bloomington at around 4pm on Saturday and just drove Gertie and I all night on I-70 and arrived at my cousin’s around 8am. The drive was without incident but my body is still in pain from sitting for so long. In case anyone was wondering (and I know you are because it’s the #2 question people as when they see my car), Gertie fits in the passenger seat just fine. I put my suitcase in the legspace and she’s able to curl up and sleep. She is a very good girl.

As much as I like being home, there’s a sort of alien feeling to it. Life here moved on without me and everything is mostly the same but with tiny changes that remind me that my place isn’t here anymore. I love staying with my generous and beautiful cousin and her wonderful husband, but it’s not my home. I enjoy seeing my friends, but now there’s a distance because our lives are so different now.

There’s also a part of me that doesn’t want to see people (despite desperately wanting to see them) because I don’t want to talk about grad school. I feel like I left with such high hopes and expectations for myself and I was so confident that I would do well and everyone was so encouraging and I felt like people had so much faith in me and that I wouldn’t let them down. Part of me is afraid that they want to hear how I’ve been killing it in grad school and living up to my own hype.
The truth is that my first semester of grad school truly and thoroughly kicked my ass. It wrecked all of my inflated self perceptions and made me confront the reality that I am not as smart as I thought I was, I’m not tough, and I’m not special. In fact, as I was writing that I started crying in Einstein’s which is the angel on top of my mediocrity tree. Grad school has brought out every one of my insecurities and pooped on them. But no one wants to hear about that and I don’t want to talk about it. But I also don’t want to pretend that it hasn’t been the hardest semester of my life by far and that I’m terrified that I’m in over my head, that I won’t be able to complete my degree, and that I’m wasting tens of thousands of dollars for something that is unattainable for me.

Also, travel constipation is my reality and I keep stress eating everything and bloating up and nothing is coming out. I’m going to head to King Soopers and get stuff to assemble a fiber-lactose cocktail that will blast out my body tubes. SO I’VE BEEN COMPLAINING to a select audience recently that I’m not excited for the next Pitch Perfect movie to come out because people compare me to Fat Amy a lot and it’s really unflattering. Not because Rebel Wilson is unattractive or her character is not hilarious, but because it’s an image I don’t care to represent. There is a big disconnect between what I say and what I think I’m saying and I’m beginning to realize that the stricken-through text is the kind of material where people might create a comparison between what I say and what Fat Amy might say. I can see it, even if I don’t agree. I’m a chronic oversharer, I’m working on it, I will be better. But also this acknowledgement DOES NOT mean I welcome comparisons to Fat Amy and for the love of Christ if you call me Fat Keke it will hurt me irreversibly and I will remove you from my life. Not kidding, it has happened before. I’m a very soft marshmallow baby and I can take a lot but I can’t take that.

Right now I’m working on my resume to send out for internships. I’ve got my eye on one particular internship in the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority and the application is due on the 25th. I don’t even know where to start with my resume. I’m basically starting from scratch because my most recent resume was from my job search to enter the glamorous life of an administrative assistant. So if anyone wants to shoot me a template or something, much obliged.

I will be in Colorado for another week and back in Indiana on the 30th. If you want to see me, you have to pay for my lunch because I’ve got $80 in my bank account that has to get me until my final payday and spring semester loan dispersal.

Also here are some nice Colorado pictures that I’ve taken with my shitty phone camera.

The Macky Auditorium at CU Boulder
Main Street, Littleton

One thought on “Home in ColoRADo

  1. I could actually have written this myself after my first master’s semester. It didn’t help that my undergrad degree classification wasn’t as high as I’d hoped *cough*expected*cough* because of a boatload of crap that happened in my last year.

    I don’t know if it helps, but around 80% of grad students I know feel the same way. The fact that we’ve all gotten this far in our academic careers generally means that we were the “smart kids” at school and are used to excelling. Then you find yourself suddenly surrounded by classes full of other high achievers and you feel like maybe you aren’t as naturally talented as they are. I did my degree in Germany, where Psychology is a lot more respected as a discipline than in the UK and you have to have perfect grades to even get into an undergrad course. So by the time you reach MSc level, there’s very little room for inadequacy. Also, universities are full of fairly arrogant people who are only willing to show off their greatness and hide anything that’s troubling them.

    It took me a really long time to adjust to that and I still nearly quit over the Christmas of my last year in Oldenburg. I really had to force myself to remember that I was there to learn, that it was a subject I loved and that if I wanted to keep up with what was happening, I had to be brave enough to ask stupid questions and embrace feeling like a dunce. I quickly realised that I wasn’t the only one confused and my classmates thanked me for asking the questions that they were afraid to go near. I see the same thing happen in the undergrad classes I teach now – smart students doubting their intelligence and sending me anxious, embarrassed emails. They have no idea that I’ve received 10 almost identical messages.

    So keep your head up, you’re doing so well! You packed up everything for a reason and are feeling uncomfortable back home precisely because you had the guts to pursue what you wanted out of life! Tell your friends what Bloomington is like; tell them how great it is to be free of your Colorado flatmate from hell or go ahead and tell them about how hard grad school is because there’s no shame in doing something that challenges you. Otherwise grad school would be pointless.

    I’ll shut up now because that was an essay but have a wonderful Christmas back home and good luck in the new year!

    P.S. If anyone called me Fat Amy, they wouldn’t have a voicebox to say it a second time 😅


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