So as some of you may know I am beginning my studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School this fall to finish my lacking courses needed to earn my MDIV degree. And while five years ago EXACTLY I was in this same position, many MANY things have changed in my life....and honestly some of this scares the you -know-what out of me, here are some
1. I feel OLD. I mean really OLD. Like almost a wheely bagger old. I mean really I know that i am not OLD...i am only 27, but compared to the young 22 that I was when I graduated college and moved to Atlanta to go to Candler, I am old....I always wanted to be a young graduate student who was jumping into the world on ministry at a young age, and now I feel like that is no longer possible.
2. I am not sure how I introduce myself to people I meet at Vandy...
"Hi I'm Karney, I am a pseudo first year, pseudo transfer, pseudo last year...."
"Hi I'm Karney, I am a loser transfer student who was lazy and made bad choices now I am here..."
Or better yet...
"Hi I'm Karney, and while I've been in theology school for almost four years I am now a transfer student who has to stick around for two more years because I just felt like getting an almost degree from one institution and racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt"
See this is hard
3. How do I approach classes/readings I have ALREADY taken/read and possibly even written/presented on?? You see we have mandatory reading for orientation...yes ORIENTATION at Vanderbilt. One of these such readings is from the amazing Flannery O'Connor, love her!! But the other is an article I read not once, but TWICE in Con ed. Do I read it again...taking better notes and therefore possibly being ahead in the plenary sessions, do I not read it at all and assume I still know what the article is about, or do I skim read the article to brush up and re jog my memory?? Now this may not seem like a big deal now in JULY when I am not in classes, but what about when I am in classes with five midterms to do??? what then??
4. The dreaded, so what are you here studying for?? Ministry? Academia? Teaching?
This question scares me because for the first time in 15 years I DO NOT KNOW the answer to this question. I don't. Five years ago I did, five months ago I did, five weeks ago I did, and honestly five days ago I did. And today I don't. And that my friends scares me, and for the first time i do not know what I want to do with my life.
5. What if I fail...again?? Now I realize this question may seem ridiculous, but my entire life....my entire academic life, I was ALWAYS at the top of my class, valedictorian, salutatorian, class officer, academic honors, major course of study honors, research awards, etc. And then graduate school, and more specifically second year of graduate school. And because I feel like I failed at Emory, I feel like I will now fail at any academic ventures I may take.
So I guess that is it....the top five fears I have about going BACK to graduate school. Feel free to leave thoughts....