Focusing on graduate school information and trying to prepare for the GRE (Graduate Records Examination) enhances the anxiety that I already have about my undergraduate career coming to an end. It is like I am in the moments right before a major life change. My undergraduate career has been a very interesting ride. I have been through several majors and attempted numerous programs. I guess I have determined my academic track by trial and error. Baring some major disaster I am on track to graduate in May and I feel scared. All I have known is the way of the undergraduate world. Now I find myself preparing for something completely different.
I remember this feeling. I had this feeling in the months before graduating from Highland. I guess you could say that I don’t mind life changes, but I don’t really like when there are these huge formal separations between the parts. I managed to keep myself away from the emotions when I graduated from high school. I quickly found ways to “transition” to my new academic life. I took dual-enrollment courses and I also took courses during the summer. I did everything except stop and look at what was going on around me. In a lot of ways there was a support mechanism in place to transition me from high school to college. This is a bit different. I am going from college to graduate school. There is no guiding hand (or guidance counselor), there is no net. I am doing this by myself. The funny thing here is that the times I have been offered the advice of an advisor I have refused it, usually while quoting requirements from a catalog. Well, in this case, I have read the catalogs and I have looked into everything I think I need to know, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. It all just feels so isolated and lonely.
The worst thing for me is that my undergraduate career represented a time of exploration for me. I discovered some things I like and some things I’m good at. Also discovered a few things I’m not so good at, but those are still good things. I don’t want to have to declare a major and make a 100% commitment to it. I know what I want to do, but that doesn’t mean that being locked into it doesn’t make me feel unnecessarily confined. There is something freeing to know that at any moment in your undergraduate career you could take leave of your sensibilities and actually change your major to Studio Art and it would work out. Admissions to undergraduate programs is just kind of flexible like that. I will have no problem focusing on my program and completing it, but just feels like there is something missing.