Today I registered for my first course as a non-degree graduate student with the University of Iowa. I have to admit, when I stepped on campus to go to a meeting with my academic advisor, the force of it, the memories, the fear and excitement, the, well, everything, hit me like a physical punch. I literally had the wind knocked out of me as I crossed in the shadow of the Old Capitol Building. I simultaneously wanted to cry and laugh. How far I’ve come, how I am the same; how long it’s been, and yet there are times where it feels like no time has passed. I hold the old memories dear, but I do not necessarily miss them. The saying is hindsight is always 20/20. And it’s true. I realize how little I put an effort into applying to graduate schools because I was afraid I would lose my boyfriend. Imagine if I hadn’t half-assed it. Imagine where I would be, what I would be doing. But then again, had I not gone through the experiences I did, I wouldn’t have half as much confidence approaching people and talking to them and instigating conversations, a benefit from Public Outreach and a great skill to have when applying to graduate programs.
I feel it is very fitting that my first class will start on New Years Eve. As if that is not poetic enough, my first class is Introductory Topics Mass Communication: Online Election 2012: Social Media and the Presidential Race. It will discuss the campaign in terms of social media, focusing on “lessons learned” about online social interaction (i.e. blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and the important roles they played in the election. It quite literally combines my interests and packages it into a neat little class. Kismet, I tell you, Kismet.
Even though I am not sure where my life will take me, I decided to register for Spring semester classes, as well. I looked at the guidelines/handbook for the Graduate Non-Fiction Writing Program at Iowa and decided to sign up for classes with the clear thought I will have some coursework under my belt if accepted. That, and I had to, HAD TO, sign up for a Writer’s Workshop course. I get to dip my fingers into the acclaimed program by taking Creative Writing for New Media. Again, it is a class that explores social media and it’s impact on Creative Writing in modern society, among other ideas. I am literally thrumming with excitement.