During my undergrad at Luther College, I was a Resident Assistant for 3 years in a building specifically for first year students. This has defined the way that I feel about back to school time. Everybody who’s been to college remembers moving up the first time, but it’s the Resident Assistants there that relive it every fall, like some drawn out version of Groundhog Day. Then last year I got the experience of being a first year student again. Even though grad school is very different, it still kind of felt like something I had been preparing for, after watching first year students year after year. I was ready to be a rookie. Ready to embrace my n00bie image. Ready to say with pride, “I don’t know where that building is.”
Now that school is about to start again, I’m reminded of this feeling. As students slowly return I’ve noticed the energy pick back up around campus, but it isn’t my energy anymore. I look forward to growing into my big-girl-research-shoes this year and the years to come, but I wonder where I’ll find that feeling of anticipation now. I’m lucky to be starting and continuing exciting research this fall, so I suppose I don't have anything to worry about. This year will still be different from the last, and I will find new things to try for the first time. This year will probably be the first year for something (this blog at the very least), and I will be so ready to look like a fool as I grow with each new project. I will improve at finding fresh moments in daily and weekly life. I will rediscover what builds my anticipation. I will learn to like adulthood, and maybe someday I'll even be good at it.