If someone had told me at my undergraduate graduation that in two years, I would be moving to Ohio, I’m sure my reaction would have been laughter. As a proud Californian, taking the leap to move to Washington, DC two weeks after I received my diploma was already enough of a change for me. With a strong love of the coasts, I was sure after DC, I’d land somewhere on the peripherals of the country.
Well, past-Emalie, the joke is on you. After taking a plane, driving a car, and unloading too many boxes, here I am in the Midwest.
As I head into my third week as an Ohio resident, I find myself reflecting on the past six months with a mixture of awe and a good amount of incredulous head-shaking. In January, I was scrambling to purchase flights for a series of Interview Days I’d be attending for prospective Graduate Schools. In the spring, with an audible squeal, I was answering a phone call I knew was an offer from my top choice program. By June, I was saying goodbye to my DC community and all of the patterns and the places I had come to love as if they were mine and mine alone.
Finally, in July, I was moving myself into a new apartment, in a new city, where I knew absolutely no one. Consequently, I thought I would collapse and crumble into the earth, as I ugly cried a few tears. The first week was terrifying and I busied myself with setting up an apartment and Facetiming my friends and family probably a bit too often.
However, the second week was easier. I began to meet other students who graciously took me under their wing. With their accompaniment, I swam in Lake Erie, I ate an Elephant Ear at a local fair, and discovered a new favorite walking path. I found the nearest Target, I paid my bills for the first time, and inch by inch, I accepted my surroundings with less sadness and a more optimistic perspective.
With week three gearing up as more of my cohort members arrive, I’m feeling increasingly at peace. It might have been terrifying, moving myself to a new state, but look at everything I’ve explored in two weeks, and look at how many future adventures are awaiting. I might have felt lonely, but soon, there will be so many hellos and handshakes that my cheeks will hurt from smiling. The days might feel longer now, but it only means the excitement is building as I wait for my program to begin solidifies that I have found my fit in a graduate program.
I’m realizing more and more that all transitions are always layered. While there may be forthcoming moments of doubt and stress, I trust there will be so many more moments of gratitude, affirmation, and growth. Ultimately, I’d move anywhere for more moments like those.
So Ohio, thank you for having me and I can’t wait to see where I end up two years from now.
This post is part of the Emerging SA Pro series following 4 awesome people: Aracelis, Emalie, Felicia, and Patrick, as they blog monthly about 1 year of their journey as either a new SA Pro or SA grad student. We are proud to help them share their stories as they break into our field.