In the past month I have:
Quit my job.
Road tripped from Denver to Riverside.
Found a home.
Unpacked everything (and not just crammed things wherever).
Figured out the bus system.
Done the DMV.
Setup my new laptop.
Met members of my cohort.
Ordered my books for class.
In the past month I have not:
University of California, Riverside’s first official day of classes is October, 2nd. October 2nd is a Thursday. I have Monday/Wednesday classes. My first class will not be until October 6th. UCR is on the quarter system, so they start later than schools that are on semesters. UCR is also in the desert, so to let the late summer heat wave dissipate (or at least this is what those of us waiting anxiously have come to tell ourselves), they start in October.
Friends and family, all so happy for me, check-in and ask me how classes are going. Classes have not begun to go. Then they ask what I’ve been doing with myself, I rattle of an abridged version of the list above, hoping to skirt the fact that what I have been doing myself has not involved any actual writing.
This past week I had 3-days of orientation for UCR’s Graduate Student Peer Mentor Program, which I highly recommend. It’s mostly geared toward PhDs, but MFAs are invited, because our degree is a terminal degree (for now). I was able to meet more members of my cohort, meet a lot of grad students in other divisions and gather insight from those who have gone before me. Throughout the next year I will meet weekly with my Peer Mentor, who has already dropped mad knowledge on me. She seems super organized and I feel like this will absolutely help me stay on track and make the most of my first year, so I don’t feel quite as panicky in my second year.
It was also refreshing to get up every day and shower and leav the house in the morning like a regular Joe. I’m sure my new roommate was getting tired of leaving for work and coming home from work and seeing me sitting in the same spot on her couch watching her TV with a growing pile of junk food wrappers at my feet (hello, Odd Couple!).
So, in June when the rest of these MFA Years bloggers are updating you all about their plans for the summer (plot spoiler: mine is mainly to not run out of money before the Fall), you can expect a post from me on what it’s like to still be in classes when everyone else isn’t.