Adjusting your identity
I’ve been a student for about 19 years, pretty much my whole life. Now that I’ve finished my undergrad degree, I feel as though I am going through withdrawal symptoms. It’s been about a 1 1/2 year since graduation. I often feel lost without the idea of being a student. I could always find comfort in being a student because that was all I knew. I started college the summer after High School. I did not have a chance to digest what it would be like without the obligation of having to attend school. I was Sasha, the student for a very long time. Now that I have lost that part of my identity it feels strange and unfamiliar. I took a year off from school to focus and center myself before pursuing graduate school. I had a hard time deciding what my next steps would be but luckily I came to my senses.I enjoy all the free time of not having to worry about assignments and studying but I miss school so much.
I recently took a leap of faith and put my creative work to the test. I applied to several Fine Arts graduate programs. I cannot stop thinking about going back! The idea of going back to school gives me a feeling of being home. Eventually, I will have to learn how to live without the identity of being a student and adapt to another but in the meantime, I am set on going back to school and finishing up with my goal of becoming a graduate student. A part of me wonders if I am just going back to feel that sense of comfort again or if I am really going because I want to learn more. My relationship with school is very similar to that of Stockholm syndrome. The concept of school has a tendency of holding me hostage and stressing me out but I love it so much I cannot be without it, no how matter how hard it beats me down.
In this last year, I have gotten cozy with anxiety and stress. We’ve cuddled nonstop all day and night. I’ve felt defeated, angry, frustrated and even hopeless. In the midst of these emotions, I forgot to let go of the steering wheel and allow the universe to guide me freely. I was so fixed on the outcome of the situation that I forgot to be mindful of the journey. I was deaf and blind to the lessons in between the setbacks. Don’t get me wrong… I still wig out and want to pull out all my hair from the frustration but I’m slowly learning how to surrender to situations that aren’t in my control.
As a young student, I had always believed I would be a college graduate and I had always imagined continuing on to receive a graduate degree. I had always dreamt of the day that I could walk across the stage and where a fancy graduate gown. Just to think back to then, I am so proud of how far I have come. Although college degrees shouldn’t define you and still come with headaches and struggles, I am still humbled by my path. I would have never expected the struggles I would face after graduating, I thought finding my place in life would be easier. I always knew getting a “good job” straight after college would be a challenging road but I didn’t think it would take such a toll on my sanity. I currently work for the Department of Education, I was hired 6 months after graduation. Most people would say that I have a pretty good job but in my heart, I don’t feel content. I know my heart is searching for where I belong and I don’t belong here. I am grateful for the experience I have been exposed to thus far but I have a sense that my time here will be ending soon. As this chapter closes a new one will begin with many more lessons. I am ready to continue my journey elsewhere with a heart full of gratitude.
Polish The Soul xx