Anyway, grad school has been all at once empowering and humbling. Each day is a rowboat rising and falling from crest to trough. Some moments raise me up with confidence like kicking ass on a test or realizing all that chemistry knowledge loosely crammed in my head might come in use through some really cool public health avenues. There are opposite moments that bring me crashing down, like when people ask where I got my Master's which I don't have (but I'm darn proud of my little old undergrad). Or when my advisor explains an entire coding process and I have to say, "Wait, back up to the first sentence. What the hell is a cluster?" Each day is a dynamic comparison of all that I've learned and the endless amount of information still to be explored.
Overall, the learning is the most visceral part of the first month. Maybe it's because I stepped back from the academic world for a year, or maybe it's because I finally found a discipline that keeps a fire burning in me. Whatever the reason, long assignments and nights at a computer screen don't seem as daunting. They have a purpose beyond a little letter with a plus or a minus soon to be forgotten. Learning is fun again. Knowledge is becoming a path that I enjoy walking on and taking time to enjoy all that it has to offer.
Now, this could all be gilded happy thoughts before the storm, but I think the really tough weeks (or months) will be easier to bridge with a sense of purpose to the learning. I have that now and I'm hoping to keep that within me as I go forward.