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This year I’m grateful for stress

Posted by on Sunday, January 13, 2013 in Academics, College Life, General Information, Peabody College, Student Life.

This first week back at Vandy has been an incredibly long and stressful one, but I’m still optimistic that things will improve.

Chandos portrait of Shakespeare (from Wikipedia).

I am one of those students who gets incredibly excited about the first day of classes.  I love organizing new binders by subject; I adore reading over syllabi and writing the due dates into my agenda.  My roommate Savanna completely embodied my feelings about starting a new year when she had to wake up before 8am for her first class.  Her eyes sparkled and her excitement was palpable.  Her mirth floated around the room like a cloud, infecting everyone it engulfed.  The first day of school is like that for me: I am an English major attending a Shakespeare class.

This is the plan of classes set out for me in the Peabody Undergraduate Handbook. I follow the column at the far right.

That being said, this week was a chaotic mix of joys and hardships.  I love attending my new classes, but I feel slightly overwhelmed at their intensity.  I am actually in three practicums this semester, one of which was designed to be my first practicum.  However, I am also in an English Language Learners (ELL) methods and assessment class, which each have a practicum associated with them.  These two classes are primarily for masters students who have all done practicums before.  Some of those students have even taught entire classes.  It is terrifying to think about the fact that I will be working with such experienced peers.  At the same time, I know that their wealth of information is something to profit from.  My teachers will grade me according to my level (I am only a sophomore, after all!) and yet I will be able to learn numerous tricks about teaching from my practiced peers.

My schedule for this semester, as seen on YES (Your Enrollment Services).

Organizing my schedule has also been a bit of a nightmare.  I participate in so many after-school activities that I have to plan how to fit them around my schoolwork and practicum experiences every semester.  Scheduling in spring 2013 has been more difficult than most.  I needed to pick work times for the box office, apply to be assistant stage manager for one of VUT’s upcoming shows, determine which day would be best for me to do TAP, and find a Bible study that fit my schedule since the Navigators no longer did.  It was a crazy mess of creating hypothetical scenarios, but now I have a tentative final plan; and that in and of itself, is rejuvenating.

This is my boyfriend and me in front of my car when I first bought it.

Finally, living independently can be taxing.  I never really thought about getting my car washed, having the engine checked regularly, dealing with financial aid problems, or grocery shopping.  And yet, I had to prep all of those alone this past week like a true adult.  To top it all off, my boyfriend got in a car accident yesterday in my car and now we have to work through repairs.  The whole experience made me realize that while it can be overwhelming to be in school and deal with each added stressor, I am so blessed to be able to do so.  The accident wasn’t my boyfriend’s fault, and he is safe.  The woman who hit him wasn’t hurt, either.  She has fully admitted to it being her fault because she was texting, and that means I won’t have to pay for damages.  In my opinion, we are so blessed to have stressful issues to address at the beginning of each semester.  We are just blessed to be alive.

I can say with absolute certainty that I am grateful to be here at Vanderbilt and to be enduring everything that comes my way.  This is going to be a beautifully stressful year.

…Until next time!

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