I have made it to 10 weeks in the first semester of Graduate Studies. You can say that this semester, so far, has been a great experience. I am learning and participating in opportunities in and outside of my department. Everyone in my major is really fresh and exciting. I enjoy our conversation in and outside of class as well as their creations and classes. You can imagine with all this positive stimulus around one could be excited to be here. October 28th, 2016 I went to my apartment after a long week of school to relax and unwind. I was ready to indulge in pizza, salad, beverage, and an excellent movie. I was looking forward to not do anything for just an evening. Got home on the bus sooner than expected. Went to the store bought the necessary material to have this relaxing evening, went home to cook, light candles, and clean my space. In the midst of cooking, my pizza was burnt. I’ve been having trouble with my oven burning my undercooked food. Even though I consider myself a decent cook, I know how to follow directions. So seeing this pizza burnt all over and still frozen in the middle ticked me off.
At that moment I broke down.
( I through my metal spatula at a picture and I shattered)
You can say it was the straw that broke the camels back.
(I cried my eye out, screamed, slammed doors)
I was angry! I was panicking! I was irrational! I was rational! I was honest! I was intolerable!
I made a facebook status
I’ve never done that before. Generally when I get in this mood (which is very rare) I go for a walk, eat ice cream, nap, or sing a song. To me, that wasn’t enough. I had to let people know what was going on. I was sick and tired of going about life and having to hide this side of me. Not a lot of people have seen this side of me. And the ones who have know I don’t post about it. They also know that I am taking the necessary steps to ensure that I am living a positive life (meaning physical, mental, emotional, spiritual). Now and then I get these moments of low-ness. Because I am out here alone (meaning not close blood-related family living out here), I felt, at that moment, that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. I wasn’t honest with myself, but at the same time, the truth was there. Being in graduate school and diagnosed with a mental illness/disability (whichever you define it) is rough. To add to this struggle transitioning from undergraduate to graduate school, being accepted on “Conditions” (having to get a 3.0 to stay in school), and moving away from home for three years to pursue your dream can make anyone pop. But everything that I was “stressing” over was negative, I was very excited and blessed that I get to experience OSU, the dance department, many scholars and artist in and around my field, my future projects, and my career that I’ll be having. It was a lot going on at that moment, and a burnt pizza triggered it all.
Words/Phrases that I kept hearing before during, and after my “moment.”
Expectation -Value- Critical Thinking -Self Care -You’re Fine
Expectation: What I understand is Graduate School has a general outline of hope for their student. If you need clarification, ask. Also, there will be a time where it’ll be very unclear what is expected of you. You must go forth and give it your best. If you fail, dust yourself off and try again.
Value: What is important? How can you prioritize?
Critical Thinking: School is supposed to challenge you. They will attack and expand your intellectual being. Breathe. Breathe. BREATHE GIRL BREATHE!
Self Care: Go for a walk. Eat healthy. Visit the counseling center. Talk to your BFF. Hang with other grads. Vent. Cry. Find a hobby. Sleep. Visit Home. Relax. Call Home. Share your story. BREATHE GIRL BREATHE!
Understanding this journey many have trodden before me by many. I need to learn to listen and acknowledge that I am not alone, many feel the same way and aren’t vocal. It’s ok to vent, but after that what are steps to get you in the right direction.
Take those steps, reflect, and be awesome. As for what my grandmother (and many other church women) would say “Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5”