Saturday, December 14, 2013

Finishing the Semester, Being a Nerd, and Accepting Invitations

Well, I'm done with finals so hopefully my neglectful blogger ways are over for a while. I handed in my last paper yesterday and am officially DONE with my first semester of graduate school. Thank goodness. It has been kind of a crazy week, between finishing up all my final papers and presentations, holiday parties, work, etc. but thankfully things should calm down a little. I am staying in College City for one more week to work and catch up on some research stuff. I spent about five hours in my advisor's office yesterday working with some new data (I needed his computer) and then trying to figure out how to work this new software that he had downloaded but didn't yet know how to use...and I was probably not the best person to ask for help with this nerdy tech task, but I did my best! Google was no help, believe it or not.

Aside from all the school stuff, it was an oddly packed and stressful week. A bunch of unexpected social-ish things popped up, to both of which my immediate reaction was NO I CAN'T GO but I actually ended up going to both. One was dinner at the apartment of a PhD student who does research in the same area as me—she invited me, a few other students, and our advisors. After brainstorming ways to get out of it, I realized that I am DONE letting food paranoia control my social life. So I hurried up and accepted/promised to bring a dessert before second-guessing myself. And, you know what? I had a great time. Last night was the office holiday party; the professor who runs the research center where I work is married to another professor at the school, so they host a huge party every December for all the staff and affiliated faculty and students at their house. I brought a friend from undergrad because I was shy about going alone, and we had a lot of fun mingling (but mostly hanging out by ourselves/the little kids). Then this afternoon, one of my friends texted saying she and a couple others were going to have an earlyish happy hour, and did I want to join? I even had my decline text typed out when I abruptly changed my mind. So I went.

It's hard to figure out why my mind automatically screams NO whenever invites come. Part of it is the food thing, and I guess part is just the spontaneity of it; I am not spontaneous, and I hate being put on the spot. Especially when food is involved. Anyway, more and more I've been feeling like part of having a full life is pushing myself and getting out and meeting people and having fun, even when it feels safer to stay home and eat my typical x, y, or z.

For now I'm looking forward to four weeks of no class and no urgent responsibilities (other than studying for the GRE...more on that in a minute). One of the first things I did this morning was download a new book to my Kindle and start reading. Many more to come, hopefully.

So I signed up to take the GRE at the end of January. Doesn't seem like much time, now that I mention it. I didn't need it to get into my master's program but I will need for PhD programs if/when I decide to apply, so I was told to do it sooner rather than later and just get the damn thing over with. I bought a review book today and have been frantically relearning middle school math. Study tips welcome.

Okey doke, laundry is calling. For all my waxing poetic about the beauty of socializing etc., I am SO looking forward to a quiet night at home. Take care, everyone.


  1. Congrats on saying yes to things this week! And I did laundry today too, we're so wild haha.

  2. I'm so happy for you that you've been able to challenge yourself and accept these invitations! Good for you! And have fun with the GRE studying!