Earlier today, I attended the Alumni Picnic at Duke, something affliated with Freshman Move-in Day, I think. I happened to call my sister to find out where the family was (including Emily, who’s part of the incoming freshman class). She said they were at this picnic, and that I should join them. I caught the campus bus, and was there in a few minutes. I was so glad I went, because the lawn in front of the Alumni House was full with freshmen, their families (many of whom were Duke alums, so perhaps this was a shindig just for alums and their freshman children–not sure!), alum and development-related Duke staff, and some Duke administrators. The air was full of excitement, energy, and the newness of the school year!
The energy of a new school year is so exciting! It was fun, even for me, to be part of the meet-and-greet at the start of a fresh academic year. Eventhough I wasn’t a freshmen or the alum parent of one, I counted myself a part of the group as a proud aunt, alum, and employee. It was fun to see colleagues I knew, as well as family, of course, and to feel all the positive energy and anticipation in the air!
Since then, I’ve been pondering my own energy, both physical and mental, and thinking about how I’ll be able to juggle both work and classes next year (provided I get accepted, of course!). I’ve been especially busy at work lately with meetings, training, and other things, and I’ve been pretty tired by the end of most workdays. Part of that is because I start my days pretty early, working out at the gym before work to get ready for the Outer Banks Marathon in November.
All of this has me thinking about what I can do, need to do, to help myself have the energy to get ready for grad school (mostly study for and take the GRE, and write my essay), then go the distance to complete the degree. Since I’ll be going to school part-time, this will be a multi-year process.
I’m thinking mainly about physical things: going to bed earlier, continuing to lose weight and build healthy habits. But other ideas are starting to form as well, things like better time management, both at work and at home. I’m pretty good about being organized and planning ahead in some areas, but not so good in other areas. How can I improve in my weaker areas in the next year…without turning into a head-banging perfectionist?
Ah, what a pensive afternoon it’s turned out to be! It’s a good exercise, though. I’m thinking about buying a blank book or two to start writing things in, maybe one for work and another for home. An organizational thing I’ve already implemented at home is a 3-ring binder for my grad school application materials. It’s nice having a physical representation of something that has just been an idea for several years. That little binder makes me smile inside, because it’s making the application process a little more tangible for me.