Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Dear Friends,

Please imagine the above post title spoken in an extreme whine.

But seriously... Guys (and, in the vernacular, gals)? Can we talk frankly for a minute? Here's the thing - I'm worried I'm not up for this. Graduate school, I mean. It's not that I don't want to do it; I simply wonder if I'm up for it. Every class I feel blown out of the water by the sheer depressing intellect of my fellow students. The level of conversation is - not beyond me, quite, but much faster than me. I keep up, but not immediately. Does that make sense? By the time I've processed something someone has said and formulated a response the discussion has already veered off in a different direction. When I do speak I usually feel shot down - never unkindly, but shot down nonetheless. I spend a long time crafting written responses to readings only to feel after I've posted them that they're childish.

I have never felt this way before in my entire academic career and it's scaring me.

Anyway, I'm sorry. I promise not to make this blog into a LiveJournal (why is it that LiveJournal is synonymous with awkward emotional sharing, anyway? Is it because that's what we all did in college? Or was that just me?). I just needed to express some anxiety before going to bed. I hope you're well, wherever you are.* I miss you, friends.



*Maybe especially Mr. Chris who is just starting grad school in Corvallis. Let this be a cautionary tale, young man.**
**Just kidding. You'll be great, of course. Just like Miss Amanda.


  1. Haylie... some words of advice from your oldest (and favorite, I'm sure) cousin: Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and something to contribute. Find what you can give. You are awesome! Stay true to who you are. You will find your groove and look back and laugh. They would not have accepted you if they did not feel you were up to the challenge. (Besides, a lot of those people might be so quick because they are actually feeling self conscious and feel like they need to prove something!) Now... NO more whining ;)

  2. Oh, Katie, I love you. Thanks, cousin!

  3. Not only will you find your groove, but experiences like this can be great lessons. True social intelligence involves making others feel better about themselves by being in your presence, not worse. You can hone the craft of never making people feel how you've been made to feel by paying attention to and exploring the experience of your reaction to your classmates' words. There are always ways to disagree/discuss/debate without making the other person "wrong". And I bet you'll be better at it for having gone through this. :)

  4. this post made me laugh, because you just described how i felt for almost my entire undergrad career. at least in all my philosophy classes, which was my major. so there were a lot of them. my advice is this:

    a) start paying attention to the people who aren't talking and saying amazingly intelligent things. they are scared and intimidated just like you, but you don't notice because they're not talking about it out loud during class.

    b) stop worrying - spend enough time feeling slightly behind and shot down, and you will get used to it!

    c) and for some actual helpful (i think) advice, just pretend you feel confident. if you do that long enough, you can often trick your brain into actually being confident - it's done wonders for me.

    also i made pizza from schmizza dough last night for some friends and i thought of you.

  5. I have total confidence in you! You'll find your own groove and your own way to shine. You are amazing!

  6. Aw Ms. Haylie! Yeah you don't need to intimidate me about grad school, I'm already super intimidated having received a syllabus (52 pages) and an email about who wants to share their piece on the first day (what!).

    Let's fly to Kansas and talk about it more.

  7. I agree with all the above statements. You are amazing Haylie, and sometimes that can be hard to remember in the face of a new challenge. But power through and you'll be fine!

    And Chris, what's this about flying to Kansas? Is that because it's in the middle of the country. Either way, can I come? I'll show you around. ;)

  8. i feel the same way, miss haylie!! i worry that yale was a joke and stanford is a punchline. emphasis on the punch.

    i don't have any advice other than what's on a poster above my desk: keep calm and carry on.