Settling in

As of yesterday, I have officially completed the first week of my graduate school program! In many ways, this first week has felt pretty surreal — there has been so much information and so many new impressions to take in that I haven’t really been able to process the fact that school has started again and that I have officially embarked on this highly anticipated journey to get my PhD. It’s been such an exciting few days, and I truly can’t wait for the rest of the semester.

I have been absolutely exhausted this whole week. Definitely in part because of the fact that my brain has been working overtime trying to make sense of this new place and this new life that I’ve committed to. But I think that what really got to me was having to go to my first classes, meet all the faculty and students in the department, and getting my mind back into “study gear”, all while I ALSO had to set up my entire apartment. I had so many pieces of IKEA furniture to build, so many boxes to unpack, and so many things to organize not only in my room but in the kitchen as well. Although the whole place was undoubtedly in shambles for the first couple days and it was exhausting for me to set everything up, it is so fun and rewarding now that the place has come together and that my room, especially, is pretty much put together the exact way I wanted it to.

I must admit, however, that part of me is dreading the fact that since I’ve only signed a 12-month lease for this apartment, everything will have to come undone this same time next year. I’ll probably have to take apart most of my IKEA furniture to even be able to get it out of my apartment, which is going to be such a pain. But I guess it’s the kind of situation where knowing that I’m going to have to take everything down in the future isn’t a reason for me to not enjoy it for as long as I am able to still have it. I’m wondering how long it will be until I’m not just living in different apartments for 12 months at a time… But I guess that’s what life is supposed to be like in your 20s anyway.

I figured I’d share some pictures of what my apartment looks like!

Life as a grad student

Hi there!

I must admit this feels very strange to me — writing the first post on a blog that I’ve started. Mostly because I have always had a tendency to make fun of bloggers and people who think that their lives are somehow important enough that others would be interested in reading about them on a daily basis (very pretentious, if you ask me). And yet, here I am, writing that first post about my life. I’m still not sure this is for me,  but I figured I would give it a shot.

This summer, I spent a lot of time anticipating the start of this semester and thinking about what an unprecedented moment of my life this particular week that we’re in right now would be. This week marks the start of my graduate program in Sociology at Rutgers University; the start of a 5-7 year long chapter of my life that’s already almost completely mapped out; and perhaps most significantly, the start of a journey that is most likely going to define the rest of my life. Getting my PhD feels, in many ways, like my official commitment to spending the rest of my life in academia — whether that be through doing research, teaching, or just generally being an insufferably intellectually curious person who’s always talking about Sociology (I hope this won’t be the case).

Although I might have been completely overdramatizing as these thoughts were running through my head, I got an intense feeling of wanting to document my time in graduate school in some meaningful way. Of wanting to record my thoughts, feelings, day-to-day routines, and struggles; doing something so that in years from now, I am able to remember what was going through my head as I was navigating this new place and what my life will be like for several years to come. But I didn’t feel the need to do this just for my own sake. I thought that maybe, if I talk about my experiences in graduate school, someone else who’s considering grad school or someone who’s having the same thoughts and experiences as me might find it useful as well. Of course, it would also be a great way to share how I’m doing and what I’m up to in a more detailed way with my family and friends. So, I decided to start this blog.

Anyway, I don’t mean for this page to be a diary or something terribly serious. I’m hoping I can post about a mix of different things such as my thoughts on current events, how my program is going, what my new apartment looks like, and just generally about my life as a graduate student whose life is sort of divided between the U.S. and Sweden. Hopefully it’ll be interesting enough to read for anyone who stumbles across it 🙂