Tuesday, January 18, 2011

School Girl

Dear Friends,

Today was my first day of school, and I want to tell you all about it.

Well, maybe not ALL about it, but a little about it.

First, you should be made aware of the intense stress I have been feeling about my return to College (yes, I am going to capitalize "College" because that is how it feels to me). I've had insomnia, I've had completely unrelated but still disturbing nightmares, I've had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have tormented myself worrying about everything from parking (it's a nightmare there) to having to write papers to not having time to hang with my family or enjoy one of my numerous nerd hobbies.

I had been slowly gearing up for The Big Day. Kevin took me to campus, helped me buy my books, then walked me to all of my classes so I would know how to find them. He even carried my books, which reminded me of the first time I went to college (yes, "college"-it wasn't as scary back then as it is now). He sneaked up to Best Buy with my amazing in-laws and they bought me a brand new laptop. And get this-it has every single one of its keys, there is no peanut butter anywhere on it, and when I put in my password it just fires right up with no 5-minute lag. I totally played it cool when they came over to surprise me with this gift, but later on, I went upstairs and cried because it was so incredible. They are just so good to me, those 3. Kevin talked me into getting myself a new backpack with a laptop compartment, which I did. But still I was fretting. A lot.

I mean, I had a decent handle on it until last weekend, when I logged into my university email and found messages from all four of my instructors, directing me to their Moodle sites where I was able to look at each syllabus and class schedule, and where I learned that I had to read four chapters and complete two assignments for my first day of class. For my FIRST DAY OF CLASS! Oh, has the internet ever changed things.

Anyhow, I somehow managed to fall asleep around 10:00 last night. I woke up when it was still pitch black outside and was at school by 7:20 for my 8am class. I know-but my friend teaches at UMD and told me some really terrifying stories about parking, and I wasn't about to be late to my first class. And you probably already figured out that I found a parking spot immediately and had about 10 hours to wander around before my class started. Actually, I read my biology book, but still.

So by 7:55, nobody had arrived for my 8am class and the lecture hall was dark. And so I called Kevin, and even though he was trying to get Nora and Dana ready for school while taking care of Elsa, he called the CSD department and found out that the class had been moved. He totally saved me. I had no idea what to do. He suggested I walk to the help desk but I had no idea where it was and I was pretty sure I was about to throw up. I am such a dork. Anyhoo, I got to my class 10 minutes late and within 5 minutes it totally clicked with me that this is not College, but college. Because you know what? I am 33 years old, I have a (superhero) husband, two gorgeous daughters, a mortgage, a past career, and LIFE EXPERIENCE. I am not 19 years old. I am here for different reasons than these kids. I have so much more at stake than they do. And so the rest of my day was fantastic. For real. I somehow lucked into being able to buy a parking permit, despite it being second semester and there only being a few available. I went to my biology class in the afternoon and I thought it was really interesting, and that my professor would be fun to hang out with (she's really funny). I came home and took the statistics quiz that I had been dreading (yes, a quiz on day 1), only to log in and find that it was a quiz about the syllabus, and I got 100%. Maybe the quiz I take tonight will be harder, but I am no longer living in a dark, scary place. I feel like I can do this. I just need to keep on top of my reading.

And on that note, I am going to go play Sorry and eat some ice cream before I get the girls to bed and log back in to watch a statistics lecture online.

Sorry if that was super boring. I am just so thrilled that today went so well. Tomorrow I have physics-cross your fingers that it goes well, too.