Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. None the less this program has already altered my personality, and state of being.
I have become absent-minded. Unless it is information about classes, assignments, readings, TA-ing, office hours, or vlogging for Carleton my brain does not have room for social events, or things my friends are participating in. I apologize in advance to those people I’ve been neglecting. It’s not my fault. English Literature has consumed my life and it’s only week two.
The thing that pushed me over the edge – sanity wise – was being re-assigned a TA position. Initially I had two second year courses: African lit and Brit Lit I with a Professor who I admire for his work named Pius and a not so familiar professor who was very nice. Due to some last-minute changes I was left without classes to TA and the possibility of becoming a TA for a humanities class. Eek! Not my thing. Fortunately, I was paired with Professor Hewson and his Engl 1000 course, which is basically an introduction to English Literature and mandatory for first years majoring in English Lit.
During my meet and greet with Professor Hewson he asked me how I was coping with the masters program. I was honest. I said I felt overwhelmed and already had a mini-mental breakdown on the phone with my mom. That’s right, I told him I cried. I came to learn that all masters students, even the ones who don’t admit it, lack self-efficacy. Professor Hewson was very supportive in saying that all first year MA students feel the way I do. They initially are so overwhelmed due to the overload of information and new tasks such as being a TA that they begin to doubt themselves. They think I can’t do this! Why am I here? Who let me into this program? But, the reality is we are in the program, we are here for a reason, and we deserve to be here because we are just as smart as everyone else. Professor Hewson admitted to experiencing all of the above when starting his masters program, and so does everyone he has spoken to. He continued to say that it’s incredible that the expectations are so much higher than during your undergrad, which was just 4 months ago/8 months ago personally. He told me to start thinking like the little train that could, and I will get through it.
That being said I’m optimistic and excited about all my readings and new responsibilities. I will be immersed in books for 1.5 years, and unable to sustain a social life. Although, I’m sure I’ll be a frequent visitor of Mike’s place and Oliver’s on campus with my fellow MA classmates. It’s like high-school all over again. I will be seeing the same faces on a daily basis since there are only 25 of us in this program. Here’s hoping for the best, and the use of my time-management skills.