In grad school I’ve gone through a first week panic every quarter (albeit this is only my 3rd). Class jitters arrive about the time the syllabus and sundry paraphernalia gets passed out on the first day of class.
My nervous fears are generally along the lines of “What am I thinking?” re-entering the academic world after such a long hiatus.
In the beginning, the course curriculum looks daunting. I entertain thoughts I might fail at least one class every quarter. Fortunately this isn’t happening so I do need to calm down and loosen up a bit.
It’s humbling to feel surrounded by bright young cohorts who exude confidence. Yesterday one professor (after inundating us with an intense schedule) reminded us that we’ll probably all “hit the wall” sometime during the course. He cautioned us not to panic, not to drop out, but, to push through. And, it’s true, I’ve “hit the wall” in marathons before and I’m grateful I’ve pushed through.
By the next quarter, I’ll officially be a 2nd year grad student so maybe I’ll feel cool and smug by then. Until now, the 'push through the wall' is my official strategy for spring quarter.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin