As of 6:40 PM tonight, I am done with all summer classes and OFFICIALLY close out my first year (and 18 credits) of PhD work! Yay!
I am excited for 6 weeks off before fall classes resume and being able to just get away from the world of academia:)
I was thinking during a break from class on Monday night how the experience has been different from what I expected. I don't think I realized how many awesome people I would meet while being on this journey. The people are always what make it worth it- from faculty to professors to your program track members to other program track students to your own students- they are what make the experience worth it, and I am so grateful to rekindle old relationships and develop new ones. These people have such a wide array of interests and strengths that they open my world/eyes/mind to new areas and ideas. I appreciate what everyone brings to the table as I start to figure out my own niche. So many great people to learn from! The differing interests and personalities of people also make me more comfortable in recognizing my own strengths and weaknesses, because I see how there is a fit for all different kinds of people in academia. The professional organization involvement has also helped me see new areas of the world (Philadelphia and Montreal are coming up this year!) and meet school counselors and counselor educators from across the county and even more in my neighboring counties. Networking is always so fun!
I am looking forward to where year two takes me. It will be a different kind of year because I will be in more courses that are research based and with students from other PhD in Education tracks (I also get to take one less class- yay!), so I should meet many more people and will be exposed to different ways of thinking. Though, I have to admit that my summer Statistics course has made me excited for research:) I may like that aspect of the job after all! My goal is to keep whatever I research relevant to the profession, though, and not something that only a few academia-related people read.
So one year ago I was grappling with this decision, not knowing if it was the right thing to do, and I can honestly say that a year later it has been a great decision. My mental well being is much better. We will see if I still feel this way in another year:). The countdown is on- two more years of classes and a year of writing to go! Though I am honestly not counting- it is about the journey and not the destination.
On a completely unrelated note, my need to travel is evident to me even more now. I did not go out of town in June, and I was so ANTSY last week before going to the beach. I couldn't concentrate and was in a bad mood. I feel MUCH better now that I have gone (I did miss my class on Wednesday- hey, sometimes you have to take a mental health break:) ) I think the only cure for my anxiety is travel-> guess I need to keep doing it! Darn :) Anyone else have that issue? I am probably the only one who gets it if I don't go out of town for a month!