The Changing Leaves

We’re finally getting some of that colder weather even though it’s November, and we haven’t seen temperatures reach even the 50’s yet. Somewhere on my bucket list is to take a trip to a part of the US that actually sees the changing leaves and the beautiful, storybook fall foliage. But the metaphorical changing of leaves also brings changes in our own lives. Right now I’m anxiously filling out graduate school applications in the hopes that one of them decides that I’d make a good addition to their school. I’m wondering exactly how far off my bucket list trip is or if maybe I’ll be right in the middle of it all around this time next year. Maybe it’s a little corny, but Fall is also a great time for change.

We’re finally a little past the point of midterm papers, exams and grades, so we can rest a little before running full steam at the last few weeks of the semester. Plans for the spring semester are officially beginning, class registration is ongoing and the calendar year is slowly inching its way to the end. We’re talking about Christmas gifts and some of my friends are already beginning to hum holiday songs. Part of me is thinking, “Where did the year go?” and the other part of me is excited to turn a new chapter, or in my case, open a new planner. Side note: my planner comes in tomorrow and I’m so excited — butterflies and everything.

Sometimes I do wonder why I’m still in school. So many of my former high school and college classmates have gotten jobs and are now working their way up their career ladders. Others have gained entrance into doctoral programs and professional schools. Part of me feels behind. Or maybe lost. Or maybe disappointed that for awhile I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there, and now I’m kind of just waiting and wishing.

Sometimes I feel stuck. I’ve been sitting at an empty word document for the last two weeks trying to figure out what to say, but nothing comes out, or looking at acceptance rates for doctoral programs and wondering if I even stand a chance. Wondering when I’m going to meet that guy who sweeps me off my feet or even just when I’ll be able to really settle down and start being all cutesy and decorate-y with my apartment because I know I’ll be staying for awhile. But I think that’s what makes Fall so great. There’s optimism somewhere between the lines.

My sister recently called me filled with homesickness and wondering whether she made the right decision to go to school in another state leaving her friends and family in Texas. She said she felt stuck at a school where she felt like who she is was not being embraced by her friends. And I wonder if any UTD students feel the same way. Stuck at a place where they feel alone or feel like everything is shallow.

Fall is a time for change. It’s the time to really get to look towards the future. Even though I feel stuck now, the new year hopefully brings with it change, new lessons and great adventure. Oh, and also my Bears making the College Football Playoffs #sicem.

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