At last I see the light


Let me tell you what has happened in the last 44 days in my #SAGrad life:

  • Found out my supervisor was leaving
  • My sister-in-love found out she has brain cancer
  • Took my comprehensive exams
  • Had my first on-campus interview
  • Served as a graduate intern for NACA Nationals
  • My supervisor left
  • The Placement Exchange (TPE) with about 20 interviews
  • Found out my boyfriend was offered a job at Duke University
  • NASPA National Conference
  • Finished prep for my organization’s biggest event of the year with all professional staff in my office out of the office for ACUI
  • My boyfriend accepted said job at Duke University
  • Began looking for jobs in a 60 mile radius of Durham, NC
  • Discovered I PASSED my comprehensive exams!
  • Spent a 17-hour day at work for a challenging but successful #BigOrangeFest event

And now I have 33 days until graduation. 33 days until I receive my hood and officially receive my Master of Education (okay, well I’ll actually get the degree in the mail a few months later, but I’ll get the bragging rights in 33 days).

I don’t share that list for sympathy. I don’t share the list to be competitive and prove that I work more/harder/do more/any of that unhealthy crap. I share that list because this blog is all about me being transparent and being raw and sharing the fact that while I am proud of what I have done, the last 44 days have been HARD.

But now I am 33 days away. I can see the light. So why is everything harder now that so much of the craziness is over?

Have you ever gone running and set yourself for a specific path? Maybe you are running around your neighborhood or running a 5K/10K/etc. You know how when you’re running, you just get in your zone and go? I know when I run I throw in my headphones and just zone out. Therefore the action of running isn’t always that difficult. But when I see my finish line– that’s when I really start struggling. You see the end and all of a sudden instead of zoning out and working hard, you start measuring how much further you have to go until you can be done. While you can see how close you are, you also can easily see how far you still have to go until you’re actually finished.

That’s what grad school feels like to me right now.

I can see the light. I am 33 days away. I graduate in practically a month. I have only a handful of projects left that I can count on one hand (!!!). Yet I almost feel more exhausted looking at the next 33 days than I did 44 days ago looking forward to everything that was going to come. Life is just sort of weird that way.

I have a few takeaways for any of you reading:

  • If you are a professional, please read my list and remember what your own #SAgrad students may be going through. While we are only in office “20 hours a week”, don’t forget we have a lot on our plates outside of work.
  • If you are a current #SAGrad, YOU CAN DO IT. We are all in this together, and the final stretch is finally here. Remember, I am here cheering and running along with you. We will all make it!
  • If you are a future #SAGrad or first year #SAGrad– get excited. The best part of the  last 44 days is seeing how well I have handled the chaos and the stress and seen how much I not only talk about self care, but have been able to prioritize it. Except for my sister in law getting brain cancer, I would re-do it all again.
  • If you aren’t in Student Affairs, use this as a reminder that everyone is fighting their own battles. You may not know my story or my struggles, but I promise you they are there. You may see me post something on social media or run into me at the store, and I would hope you wouldn’t know how chaotic my life feels sometimes. This is a good reminder for me to keep in mind that everyone has their own story, and we often don’t see a lot of it.


This particular post was more of a word vomit than anything, but thanks for reading. I have 33 days left. I can see the light. If you have any motivation to share to help push me through the next 33 days, I would love to hear from you. Oh, and if you know of any jobs or connections in the the Durham area of North Carolina, let me know!

XOXOXO, amandarae

quote of the day: “Want poor results? Lower your expectations. Want to thrive? Raise the bar.” – #TuesdayThoughts with @MikeLynch09



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