Hello, fellow enthusiasts! There have been some interesting developments of late which can be summed up in two points:
- I got into grad school, and
- I’m moving to DC!
After three years in beautiful North Carolina, it’s time to pack up my things and move on to a new adventure. This fall, I’ll be joining the Comparative and Regional Studies MA program at American University’s School of International Service, and it’s a step I’m really excited about. I always knew I wanted to go back for a Master’s degree after my BA, but I also knew that going straightaway was NOT the right choice for me. Part of that was the burnout: I’d been in school for seventeen years at that point and I was EXHAUSTED. More school was not exactly what I needed (yes, I did do coursework as part of my Fulbright, but it was more of a time of travel and self-discovery than anything else).
Secondly, I needed to prove to myself that I could be good at something other than school. I’ve always been something of a Hermione Granger type: I LOVED lessons, and books, and learning, and doing really well on assignments. The structure and the feedback and routinely clearing expectations can be thrilling…it can also be scary. At some point, you just know, you are going to be in a completely different world with its own set of rules and expectations, and you worry: is this going to be the moment when the bottom falls out? Fifteen pages on neo-Ottomanism in Turkish foreign policy isn’t a problem, but can you handle having to plan your first business trip? Doing your taxes? Checking that ominous-looking light on your car’s dashboard? It was important to me that I know I could handle it, so I took these past three years to work on those skills. I’ve still got a ways to go–I can absolutely handle a weeknight dinner, but I didn’t own jumper cables until my car’s battery died on a trip to the movies to see Magic Mike: XXL.
But now, I’ve done what I set out to do, and now I get to head back inside the classroom. I’m looking forward to new books, new classmates, buying a backpack (just like Kimmy Schmidt!) I’m not looking forward to trying to find a DC apartment, but that’s not something I’m thinking about right now. For now, I’ve got a week before I need to be in DC for my fellowship orientation, so the priorities are packing, packing, and eating everything in my fridge.