About this time last year, I was panicking about turning in a portfolio I hadn’t been able to edit because at some point, despite never having suffered it before, I became a person whose feelings get in the way of everything, and fall 2015 was a semester of Too Many Feelings. The most feelings concentrated at one point in time ever, probably, which explains a lot about my state of mind from October-December.

(“State of mind” is a funny term to use here now because I wouldn’t have been able to identify a specific sense of emotion if I’d been asked to, unless I’m allowed to count “AAAHHHHH” as an adequate answer.)

(Brief summary of the end of my academic year: I started drinking again after two months of sobriety and was able to revise my portfolio. Everything went downhill from there.)

This past fall has been my first as a non-student since 1992. I’m coping better than a person who can’t handle change ought to be coping. That’s not to say I don’t constantly feel like I’m forgetting to do my homework, but I’m also not driving around aimlessly for hours every day, like I’m sure I would’ve been if I’d forgone grad school and put myself in this position two years ago.

I can’t file my grad school experience away as “good.” There were parts of it that were important, and parts of it I’m incredibly grateful to have experienced, but those moments don’t outweigh the fact that I was miserable for most of those two years, and when I wasn’t, I was trying to learn how to live as a person who wasn’t miserable all the time. I’m glad, though, that I did it. I’m not the mess I was two years ago, driving my belongings and my cats across the state for the first time, and I think, to some extent, I have Bowling Green to thank for that.