Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Learning Limits: Grad School Edition

Did you ever go through a wonderfully humbling experience that helped your relationship with God followed by a couple of stormy days in which everything seemed to go to heck? If so, welcome to my past week. After the wonderful spiritual highs that came with the start of Lent, I hit a rough couple of days that I actually feel grateful for having. I'm one of those "weird" optimistic people who tries to look for the silver lining in every situation so, of course, it's story time. ;)

Last week I found out that I had to switch from a full-time schedule to a half-time timetable at JP Catholic. It isn't because I can't handle the usual load of classes; it was because there would be one quarter that not even this "academic superwoman" could've handled. Long story short: because I have to re-take one course (in which I received a C) and do the courses of this past Winter quarter that I took off, I fell a bit behind schedule. If I had stayed on the same track, I would've had to do 5 courses in a 10-week span next Winter. That would've been nearly impossible for me to do, especially with how intense just 2-3 courses can be. I prayed about it (and asked friends on FB to pray for me), talked to my mom, and talked to a couple of lovely folks of JP Catholic and I decided that it was best for me to do half-time instead. Since JP Catholic is a small school and courses are available at specific times of year, it made sense to do an extra year and no go overboard loading myself with all the missed classes in a single quarter.

It's hard for me to "accept defeat" in the academic field but this doesn't really feel like a defeat. I know that while I'm fully capable of handling 3 courses at a time but 5 is too many. That's just the reality of it. My academic pride has a tendency to make me take on too much. Pride has already done too much damage. Staying on last quarter when I had more than enough to deal with post-accident? Yep, learned my limits then. That's why I took this to prayer. Pride and fear (of a financial nature) were at work and I didn't want to make any decisions based on either of those two emotions.

I've done so much progress in these past 2 months that I've taken off. I've been able to learn how to take better care of myself... which means learning that I often jump into doing too much too quickly and messing up any progress I've made. I don't want to do that this time around. This degree and these courses are way too valuable to rush through. I'm not taking these courses for my own personal enrichment; I'm taking them for my career / vocation. If this is the path God wants me to take (and it certainly seems that way), I'm going to do things properly. 

Surprisingly, everything worked itself out within 3 hours. I feel at peace about the decisions made. It's going to take me an extra academic school year to finish but maybe there's a reason for it. Yes, I'm one of those "everything happens for a reason" people. (quick side note: I won't apologize for it.) Maybe God has something else in store for me between now and graduation (tentatively scheduled for September 2018). Maybe this is God's way of reminding me that I need to take things slow; He knows that I tend to take on too many things at one time because that idol of busyness is hard (but not impossible) to uproot. Maybe there are other lessons I need to learn before I'm ready to teach or do whatever He has planned for me after graduation -- lessons that will take time. Either way, I'm ready for whatever He has in store for me.

All of this that I went through was during my spiritual high. I felt closer to Him during this time... and then came a couple of days of grumpiness, apathy, and spiritual dryness followed. I was able to keep in mind that it was the Lenten season and we're bound to experience some spiritual dryness (at varying degrees) during it instead of dwelling on things. I'm giving credit to Holy Spirit and the angels (shout out to the Chaplet of St. Michael) for helping me out because I was in a bad place. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I felt slightly betrayed by some people. I got annoyed whenever Mom told me that things happened for a reason and that I had to trust Him. Of course, I agreed with her and I knew she was right but them feelings were still there and they were strong. I seem to have gotten out of that funk but I'm still going to remain vigilant. 

Anyway, that's it for now. I'm going to try to finish the other blog post and schedule it for tomorrow since I know Friday will be my day off of social media and I have a feeling my Saturday and Sunday may be busy. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

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