A Stone Among Trees

Bottom line, graduate school is a back-to-basics experience for me, and I would guess most people who took time off between their undergraduate degree and pursing their next step would agree with me.  It's not the subject matter itself or lengthy number of assignments.  The classes are {mostly} stimulating, full of topics I am interested in learning more about.  But, the true difficulty lies in the feeling of being behind the 8-ball. The overwhelming amount of knowledge I must 'catch up on' is the unnerving part of the equation, just as I knew it would be.

Last night during my leadership class, we were completing a role-playing exercise in small groups, mainly to discover our style of interaction with peers.  I was chosen {and partially self-elected} to be scribe, which then turned into 'the voice' for the group. When preparing to give a 30-second elevator speech on our strategic vision, I flubbed and made a mistake on a type of hospital stay versus outpatient care {sorry for those readers who aren't into health care}. This error was recognized by all in the group, and brushed away when I shyly claimed, "I'm sorry, I'm new to all of these things."
In this learning process, I can't forget to be humble.

Three classes per week, several homework assignments, group projects and discussions, hundreds of pages to be read...it's all about gleaning as much information as I can from each and every situation.

However, there are other, smaller details that make the program somewhat difficult.  I am three to five years older than most of my classmates, and nearly all of my starting cohort; I've mentally created a sense of soft ageism among us.  I'd been removed from the formal education system for more than 4 years, generous time for someone to earn their undergrad degree and safely gain entrance into graduate school.  At times, it's easy for me to feel like a stone among trees.


  1. It's surprising what a difference just a few years can make. And, maybe it's not about age, but the momentum that gets lost when we branch off from one path and follow other pursuits. High school to undergrad to graduate is overbearing and exhausting in its own particular way, but you do develop a certain inertia that can be really difficult to build back up.

  2. Hang tough Ash! You will achieve what you desire! You are doing Great!

  3. You're more experienced in life and you know what it's like in the "real world" and that's an advantage your peers will never have in their grad school experience. And you're cuter too. Duh. <3

  4. It's tough to not compare yourself to others when you're working closely. Maybe I'll learn one day!
    Thanks for the pep talk. :)

  5. Thanks, Dad. It's such a long road, but I will get there eventually.

  6. I understand that factor weighs down on so many people! Inertia isn't a problem for me, just the feeling behind. I'm just so emotional.


Thanks for your comment; I'm all ears!