Tuesday, June 13, 2006

a sense of impending culture shock

I've been researching grad schools recently, and the prospect is mind-boggling. I'm torn between ranking and price, for one thing, and also struggling to assess just how far outside of my comfort zone (the South) I'm willing to go. This is a monumental decision for me. I'm paying for it myself. I want to be proud of my degree and know that my education will prepare me for leadership in the field, and I don't want to graduate with $50,000 in debt. I want to try something different, live somewhere new, broaden my horizons, and at the same time I'm more than a little terrified of moving thousands of miles away.

In my heart I know that this is likely to be more than a two-year commitment. The odds that I'll graduate and be done with the place are slim to none. I'll be making a life there while I'm in school, who's to say that I won't make phenomenal friends, find a great job, or fall in love with some amazing guy I can't bear to leave. I feel like I'm making a major life change here, and I tend to freak out about change.

I think in my mind, I'm afraid of saying goodbye. I equate moving across the country with putting distance between myself and who I once was. I won't live with my best friend anymore, or around the corner from my ex, or a mere hour and a half from my family and the town where I grew up. I won't live in Louisiana anymore. And while the prospect of riding off into the sunset for a new life in a far away, exotic place (like the West Coast) is exciting, and will probably be great for me, the number of miles between here and there is directly proportional to the amount of fear I'm overcome with at the thought.

But the fact is, Best Friend Roommate will move away for her own big future, and the ex has a new girlfriend and a new life, and I'm not a kid anymore. Whether I want it to or not, my world will always be changing. It's a matter of sitting back, wishing it with all of my might to stay still, or embracing it as potential for growth. I know I've got to go. It's just a matter of how far.

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