Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just when you get comfortable...

Last July my husband, Randy and I moved to Reno, Nevada. We bought a much smaller and older home than what we previously owned in Modesto. The change from California to Nevada was to allow me to finish my degree as a transfer student to the University of Nevada. NEVADA as it is lovingly called so as to not confuse it with that other university down south from us, is huge compared to the comforts of Modesto Junior College.

Prior to our departure from MJC, we were allowed to see the opening of the new Community Science building, and although I never took any science classes in the new facility, I was able to partake in a few Astronomy Club Telescope Nights before our move. What I thought was a comfortable campus, where you could easily walk for a few minutes from one end to another of the MJC East campus, I was soon in for a bit of a culture shock when I arrived in Fall at my new collegiate home.

My comfort zone had vanished. The fear of attending a Tier One university set in. I was filled with anxiety, doubt, and a sudden lack of confidence. I walked around the week before classes were to start to become familiar as I could with the buildings and lay out of the campus. Not easy. I attended taking on 15 units with Calculus, Chemistry, Sedimentary Rocks and Geochemistry I. All had labs!!! What the heck was I thinking (obviously I was NOT). Despite my full plate I started suffering from stress. I suffered from Alopecia Areata (loss of hair in small clumps), racing heart, insomnia, fear of panic attacks...and most of all a sudden fear of failure. I felt alone. This was much worse than my first day in high school way back in 1974.

I knew that I needed to settle in, and quite. I needed to meet people and get more familiar with this campus. I located all the student services I could get my hands on. Labs, study groups, counseling and tutoring. I started attending office hours with my professors. All of who was amazingly willing to help wherever they could. It took almost one entire semester to settle in, but the fact is I did settle. I met people, have Geology friends and even have study group at my house on weekends for test review. My fear of failure is almost gone, although I realize now I placed way too much on myself the first semester.  The spring semester was going to be different. There will be more time for me to relax a little, to sleep and to start working out again.

I love Reno. I love NEVADA. Although I miss my friends at MJC and the wonderful teachers/friends I made there, I know that they are not that far, and that staying in touch online with them I can still feel a part of their lives while finishing school. I am excited about spring semester, and know that I will succeed. There are times in our lives we must move on. To stand strong and be courageous, and know that you are deserving and able to obtain the degree that you desire.

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