The world of a university is weird.
It truly is its own universe with its own rules and understandings and super annoying people.
I have been out of school for a little over two years. My lest semester in college, I was student teaching, and while I did have to put together a final portfolio, I wasn’t going to classes or writing papers. And while I am hesitant to say that I was in the “real world” during those two years since a lot of it was spent both unemployed, underemployed, and still being supported by my parents even though I was married, it was much more real than this.
I am in a constant state of feeling both like an adult and a college freshman, all at the same time.
Here I am, teaching two college classes. I am in charge. I AM the teacher. I don’t report to anyone in the sense that no one has to approve what I’m doing in class. I give assignments. I grade papers. I hand out consequences when rules are broken. I decide if an absence is excused or not. I’m (basically) in charge. So much of my time is spent planning for classes and grading and responding to student e-mails and holding office hours that, at times, I feel like a true college instructor.
But then I’m also a student. I have to go to class, do readings, write papers, complete daily assignments, coordinate group projects, and just do everything that is involved with being a student. I go to the student center for coffee runs with my friends. We complain about papers. We make study nights (that usually involve a lot more snacking, drinks, and talking than studying…). We go out for classmate’s birthdays and laugh at buying them shots and giggling just like college kids do.
So where am I?
Am I an independent adult that has bills (grant, parents are still helping a little) and responsibilities, not only for my own academics, but for the educations of my students?
Or am I still a kid? Hiding behind the walls of this university and not truly being in the “real” world?
Where does one stop and the other start?
I know this doesn’t seem like a real problem. It’s very much a #firstworldproblem. VERY MUCH SO. And I know that. But it puts me in this weird state and I can’t quite figure out the balance yet or which world I’m supposed to be in.
The problem is also that I’m married. Yes, Mr. A may still be a student, but he’s a law student and they seem to be on a whole other level than I am. He has always been a bit of an old soul. Even in undergrad, he might go to the fraternity house for a little while, but he always left before me and I would meet up with him later. I am the social butterfly of the two of us.
So now that I have all these awesome new friends, I want to go do stuff with them and hang out and go to the mall and go to movies and make dinner and everything they are doing.
But I have a husband at home that, while he likes my friends, he likes his downtime a whole lot more. And I’m feeling a little torn.
Believe me. I know where my loyalties lie. If it ever came to it, I will always pick my husband. I love him and would do anything for him. However, I also have new friends and people to mingle with and make connections and just become better friends with.
This whole balancing act thing has not been nearly as easy and I thought it was going to be. I’m nearly halfway through my first semester and I still can’t seem to find a way to make it all mesh together and work.
I guess that’s life. Figuring out how to prioritize and meet all the responsibilities while still being yourself.
I’m not going to figure this out anytime soon, am I?