I got my first brown box in the mail in a year and a half; it is intimidating and exciting. By the end of my bachelor’s degree, I had the layout of essays down pat, and formatting became second nature. But, now I am out of practice and looking at this stack of books has me wondering, was it a good thing to take a year and a bit off? Should have I jumped right into my Masters after my undergrad instead?
As I mentioned, by the end of my BA I was well in the groove. I was no longer intimidated by essay assignments and was confident in my ability to answer the questions when I got them. I had found an academic groove and was content in it. So, on one hand, maybe it would have been better to keep myself in the groove and move forward. It would mean, after all, that I wouldn’t have to relearn how to write a coherent essay, or get my mind back into the rigor for academic research, or remember all those sources I had found for literary papers.
On the other hand, I think taking the time off has been beneficial. Because it doesn’t take much for a groove to become a rut. I buried myself in school work and I think coming up for air has reignited the passion for pursuit of furthering my education. I have spent the time away from school refining what I want to do, getting experience through internships, and giving my mind a chance to regroup.
I am nervous about starting again; but, I think that all those things that became second nature are only just hiding beneath the surface. Once I get a paper under my belt I think everything will come back. What is more important, for me at least, is that I am coming back with a new perspective and an understanding of exactly what I hope to gain through this graduate program.
And, it is easy to forget how wore out I felt by the end of it. I had pushed myself hard for a long time to get through my BA and by the end of it, I was exhausted (elated, but exhausted). Everyone takes their own path and for me, while I have some anxieties about getting started again, taking time away has been good. I came back to it organically, through a conversation, it wasn’t planned, per se, but I realized I was ready then because the thought excited me. I started researching programs and schools. I thought about exactly what I wanted to get out of it, and discussed the possibilities with a few contacts from my BA.
After looking at various options I found that AU offered the best solutions for me. I love its flexibility for one, but beyond that, the course options and the ability to fine-tune some of the degree to my areas of interest is what settled my choice. So here I am. Again. With a new brown box from the mail.