It’s been a crazy few months of applying, panicking, and student loan math, but it’s official: today is my first day as a Boilermaker.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always be a Tiger and bleed black and gold. I even kept the colors as I join Purdue University’s Brian Lamb School of Communication for their online master’s program. I may have missed Tiger Walk last night, but the sentiment still counts for my first day of post-graduate learning.
Choosing an entirely online program was a risky choice for someone who occasionally procrastinates on self-paced deadlines. I mean, this blog is evidence enough that I have no real ambition to keep an autonomous schedule. How many false starts have I had? There’s the one in February, the only post I’ve shared in more than a year. I haven’t even kept up with Twitter and Instagram in months, which used to be a daily ritual for me. Online interaction after essentially removing myself entirely from social media is scary at best; at worst, it’s a mildly noted return from isolation that equates to screaming into the void.
However, I am confident that I can handle the pressures of this accelerated program. The reason self-paced deadlines don’t work for me is the lack of finality. I can put off an imaginary benchmark because it’s not real. With eight weeks to a full course, I know this program will keep me on my toes and striving toward hard deadlines with no remorse.
My plan is to take it week-by-week, convenient since that’s exactly how the professor has laid out the course.
- Mondays: download readings, preliminary coursework, and organize schedule
- Tuesdays: complete readings and post assignment
- Wednesdays: general assignment deadline
- Thursdays: respond to discussions
- Fridays: large assignment progress
- Saturdays: general response deadline
- Sundays: large assignment deadline
Is this a realistic plan? I think so. It keeps me current with the course with plenty of opportunities to get ahead, but it’s also forgiving in case any assignment gives me more trouble than I expect. My biggest issue isn’t really the to-do list, though. I’m good at making to-do lists. It’s the checking off items I never get around to doing that’s the problem.
I’m worried, but it’s a good worry. The worry comes from expectation, which means I’m expecting good things from this program and from myself. I know I have it in me to accomplish everything this program asks, and I can buckle down and get it done. My planner is never far away, and it’s been killing me not to have anything to write in it.
“Today’s the day!”
It’s back to school for me, folks. Wish me luck!