I feel an inane urge to pull out my GPAs from over the years, my ACT scores, hell, even my GREs. I’d like to pull out letters of reference and old papers and tests. Anything that can be used to re-establish the fact in my mind that, yes, I really was smart once. I’m not making this up. I’m not delusional, vain, or misguided. I really was smart. I think I still am? I read books. I type quickly. I am one hell of a public speaker.
And yet…I can’t seem to to get my feet underneath me here in grad school. I know the program is far from a perfect fit from me. I know its a huge adjustment to this field from what I have previously studied. I know this isn’t what I intend to do for any longer than 2 years. But really…I didn’t think I’d have this much trouble at least getting by. I figured I wouldn’t be passionate about Public Admin. I figured it’d be less than stimulating or mentally satisfying. But I’m getting Cs. The best grade I’ve gotten so far is a B-. I don’t do that. I don’t effing do that.
Sure, I’m not out of luck. I can re-write (and have re-written) a lot of these papers/quizzes. There is some extra credit I can do. But I’ve been here two months and I’m still not getting the hang of this. This program was supposed to be me fighting the corporate boredom and being careful to not slack because I don’t like it and get Bs rather than As. It wasn’t supposed to be me fighting panic every time a professor starts to hand back an assignment.
I’m not even good at my job. I’m in a boys’ club of engineers and inspectors and planners. I’m doing the best I can and trying to constantly increase my knowledge base and at least be efficient if I can’t be anything else. But this school has me insecure. I’m just below average here.
The past two months have heard me continually telling myself “I can do this. I’ll figure it out. I can do this.” But I’m not doing it. I’m not figuring it out. I’m bad at this. And being bad at school is unthinkable. Its not me. I have no idea what I’ll do if my “I can do this” breaks down.