I think I may have just experienced the most depressing evening of my life. I ended up going to the UT chem dept. poster session for prospective graduate students. I mainly came to help support the Shear group and mingle with people (as opposed to just grading or knitting). What I thought would be just another ho hum evening in Welch ended up being this eye opening experience.
The whole of my life, I’ve taken great pride in being independent. I’ve never had a fear of living someplace else, or traveling, or anything really. Mainly, I just do as I please and end up wherever I end up. Fortunately, this has left me happy and geographically close to those I love and care about. At the poster session, I met students from other schools who were considering attending UT for graduate school. In all of this, I realized that I wouldn’t be here anymore… they’d be taking my desk (either it be in the Shear group, or in a classroom). It is odd to see how the whole of UT is just moving on without me as if I am nothing to it. I met students who were coming from nowheresville USA, to Austin, Texas.
Now, I’m thinking of how I will go from Austin, Texas to Bloomington, Indiana or some unknown place in the middle of nowhere. No friends, no social life, just research, classes, and lab. What if Indiana is full of foreigners who don’t know English, and what if I can’t talk with them as a result? What if I hate my research? What if I hate it all?
It just seems like the little sitcom that is my life is changing dramatically. It seems like the supporting cast just comes and goes, but that I am the regular. Lately I feel as if I don’t mean anything, about anything, to anyone. While this has granted me a considerably depression-free life, I’ve come to this realization that I’m soon to be like an island, alone, in the middle of nowhere, and rather self-sufficient. I suppose all of this may sound like a good thing but the sad part is that I’m afraid this whole ‘island’ lifestyle isn’t me at all. Maybe I could become this, but I don’t know if it (being a grad student and moving away) is all worth it. All the professors in the division seem to think highly of me and all that I’m up to, but I wish I could feel so confident in the direction I’m going as they are.