New Semester, New Goal

by Sarah Luna

I’ll be returning to my PhD studies in 3 days. While I’ve had a good break here at home, it’s time to go back and start doing things again.

Looking back at the past few months (and after many hours’ conversation with my A&M friends), I’ve realized that all of my goals and struggles and failures and successes have revolved around one thing: Confidence. Every aspect of my being was challenged over this past semester from academics to finances to social interactions.

At the end of my first month, I wrote about survival. I hadn’t yet made the connection to confidence. At the end of October, I had identified the issue and was ready to face it. And by the end of the semester, I was not only at peace but full of joy (and then finals hit).

Because I am nerdy, I decided to graph my confidence levels (from 1 to 100) as a function of time.

Yep, I look pretty erratic. The first drop was due to finances, the second and third were due to social situations (not mentioned on blog), and the last was due to finals. I must clarify that I am only including the Fall semester in this graph. This does not take into account my present state. Additionally, when I return to Ithaca, I will not be at the same level that I left.

My goals for this semester in some way relate to increasing confidence. I’m not scared to meet new people. That has been a difficult part of the adjustment, but I’ve made leaps and bounds. I’m going to figure out research goals, tackle a new language, figure out next year’s housing, run a half marathon, and talk to people.

I’m already excited.