I've been in Alabama for a little over a week, and this past week has been one of the hardest weeks of my entire life. I've cried more than I ever have, and I've felt lower and more alone than ever before. I've had such a hard time adjusting to being on my own, and this transition is much harder than I thought it would be. I thought this was what I wanted, but I found myself doubting my decision every day for the past week.
It wasn't until yesterday that my opinions changed. Yesterday was my first day of grad school. It was the first day of my program's orientation and we had an exam. As I was standing outside the room waiting for orientation to start, I talked with a few other people in the program and for the first time in over a week, I felt excited. For one, no one else really studied for the exam which took away all of my nerves. Also, I wasn't the only person who just moved here and didn't know anyone. For the first time in a week, I didn't feel alone. I didn't feel like I was going through this alone. I felt like I had just made 14 new friends and that everything was going to be okay.
For all of you interested in the one-year MA Advertising & PR program at Alabama, here's what you need to know for your diagnostic exam: (1) What is advertising? (2) What is public relations? (3) Why do organizations engage in advertising and public relations activities? (4) What are the similarities and differences between advertising and public relations?
Seriously, that's all you need to know. Don't spend your summer slaving over the books trying to learn every single definition. Know these four things and you'll be set. (From what I've been told, these are the same questions they ask every year.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm still extremely nervous about the program and what these next 11 months hold. But at the same time, I'm hopeful and I know I can do this. The hardest part is being away from Alex, but knowing that he's supporting me in all of this makes it so much easier. And in 15 days, we'll get to see each other again. Those visits give me hope. They keep me going. He keeps me going even when I want to give up.
This year is going to be a whirlwind and it's going to test me on every single level, but I can do it. In August 2013, I will have my master's degree.