The Ohio State University sign in front of the Moritz College of Law
Here it is, the beginning of my second semester of my first year of grad school. Am I ready? Unsure. Will I ever feel ready? Probably not. There’s a lot of uncertainty in our world right now, but one thing is for sure: I have a whole new set of courses and a new batch of milestones to achieve. This semester I’m taking Jewish and Israeli Dance Histories, Foundations in Pedagogy, Interactive Media Processing, Interdisciplinary Research Studio, Ballet, and Contemporary. I’m also a TA again for Western Concert Dance and I’m teaching my first course, Jazz 1 and 2. By the end of the semester I will submit an abstract for my final MFA project which will inform my new advising committee selection – a major step forward in my MFA journey.
Last semester I had a lot of creative tasks and assignments, which was a ton of fun, but it did cause some creative burnout. This semester I have a lot more reading, synthesizing, and writing to do – something I’m not entirely thrilled about, but I’m hoping it will help inspire some more creativity and aid in the creation of my abstract for my final MFA project. Not only will I be reading books, selected chapters, and articles for my coursework, I plan on reading some material related to my research interests to help inform my abstract as well as my project for the Interdisciplinary Research Studio. I’m hoping to use my time in the Interdisciplinary Research Studio to begin what I hope will be a rough draft of my final MFA project, or at least an experiment which will inform what I ultimately create.
In order to ease myself into this new semester, keep some anxiety at bay, and give my mind some semblance of organization, I’ve decided to list some intentions to support my work and life:
- Don’t try to “power through” everything – take breaks to help limit stress and anxiety
- Get restful sleep – with 8:30am classes every day this semester it is important to get to bed earlier than I usually do (I have night owl tendencies)
- Stick to your daily action – in my Interdisciplinary Research Studio we have been asked to commit to a daily, 15 min action that supports our creative wellbeing; I have chosen walking, noticing what I notice
- Eat well – my eating habits haven’t been the best since the Covid-19 pandemic started because I tend to eat my feelings and make poor food choices in the process
- Find time for exercise – another causality to the pandemic has been my commitment to my fitness which in turn has affected my mood which then affects my productivity
- Allow for failure – when I don’t achieve goals, follow through with intentions, or make poor decisions I will afford myself the courtesy of leniency because I am human
- Avoid comparison – it’s hard not to compare myself to my cohorts and peers, but remembering that my journey happens on my timeline will serve me well
- Get involved at OSU – there are many student organizations within the department and the university I want to learn more about and get involved with
- Get involved in Columbus – likewise, there are organizations I’d like to make connections with in the LGBT community here in Columbus
I have to remind myself that these are a list of intentions, not a list of expectations. It’s ok if I don’t do all of them, or if I only do some of them some of the time. I also have to remind myself that these are things I will be doing for myself, not for anyone else, and that it’s ok to be selfish in this way. Self-care comes in many forms, so I will recognize my own needs and be my own advocate.