Sunday, August 26, 2012


I haven't had any major homework assignments yet and a lot of the stuff I'll be doing this semester is building to larger projects and papers due later in the semester. The one consistent thing is that there is a lot of reading. I haven't quite gotten into a routine of reading yet and I'm also trying to still get settled and organized in my room, which isn't helping. Little by little my bedroom is feeling more organized and more like my space. The biggest challenge has been making sure I have study space and a place for my books and binders so my work is organized for the next couple of years. Crazy to think about all of this building to my preliminary exams in two years, but it all does. And me being organized now will make a big difference then. I'll post some pictures of my study space when I'm happy with how it's organized. For now my desk is a pile of papers.

I felt like I reached a significant moment today is being a student again. I checked books out of the school library. I've been in the library a few times the past couple weeks but not as a student to study or look for books that I need for classes or research. I have yet to study there, but I know that will happen soon enough. Probably this week as I'm feeling a little behind on reading for the week. I checked out 7 books today. I went in looking for 3 for my classes for papers for this semester. I also found 4 other books that could be related or just interesting reading, but not sure I'll have more time for that.

Off to do some serious reading for the night. If I get through a good chunk tonight I might reward myself with some ice cream :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of School!

I have been thinking about starting a blog to document my journey through a PhD program. The purpose is to have a space to process my thoughts and the experience but then to also give my family and friends more insight into this journey. Choosing to become a full-time PhD student was not an easy decision and I plan on writing a post in the near future about my decision making process and give more introduction to what I'm going to be doing for the next 3-4 years. For today, for my first blog post, I have a few thoughts to get me started on this important day.
As you can probably tell by the title of this post, today is my first day of classes for my PhD program in Higher Education Administration. I haven't had a first day of school as a student in 9 years, I think. I started my masters program at Azusa Pacific University in August of 2002. That was 10 years ago and I could not have imagined at that time that I would be here, an incoming PhD student. Back in the classroom with homework and papers to write.

There is always excitement in a first day of school. I always loved the first day of classes, even working professionally in Residence Life for the past 9 years it was always one of my favorite days. Training was always fun, but the tone of campus changed and my staff took on a different mindset. I always loved to celebrate this day with them and send them a note and gift to remind them someone is behind them, cheering them on. Now I'm the one starting classes, and I got a few of those messages today, including lots of likes on Facebook on my update about my first day of classes. The support of my family and friends has been crucial in my choice to pursue a PhD. They believed in me and have encouraged me along the way. I said goodbye to good friends and moved many miles away to the unknown and they could not have been more supportive. More recently I have gained confidence and encouragement from those who have gone before me in the PhD journey, some on the other side and some in the thick of the experience. Those currently in my program and those I'll be starting classes with today are already such a great support network. I even got an an encouragement and reminder to breathe from one of my professors this morning. Thank you to all those people. I know I'll need you in the future, maybe more than I have up to this point. I know there will be times I'll be stressed and discouraged and maybe even doubting my decision to be here. During that time I'll be relying on you and may not remember to thank you then, so thank you now.

Enough with the mushy student affairs talk...back to the First Day of School! I am excited, nervous, and anxious to get in the classroom. I have about an hour until class begins for today. I have some reading to get done before then in preparation for the class, which I hope will calm me down a little and focus for class. More to come on what classes are really like and the reality of doctoral level reading and homework. Until then, here's my picture documenting this first day...