June 26, 2007

The cry of credentials

Though every semester at Seton Hill seemed more difficult than the last, when I look back on it all, I find that my first freshman semester rated highest on my stress-o-meter. By the end, I had the know-how and the faith that I could get through it all, but at the beginning, I questioned myself. I'm doing the same thing now, but now I know that I'm doing it.

I guess a lot of my pre-formed stress is from Facebook. What an awful thing that community of credentials and interests and self-indulgence really is!

One of my soon-to-be classmates said on her message board that she is feeling overwhelmed and more than a little inadequate after viewing our class's profiles. I must echo this sentiment. Facebook offers the voyeuristic ability to pore over every piece of work information and background experience that every student has. When looking at that for admittedly ten minutes or so, one feels a sensation akin to looking at pristine models in a fashion magazine: like a blemished average person. Also, the image of one person slips onto another and then another and you forget who was who and then you just lump them all together into some mega journalist image in your mind. Why should they want to go to graduate school? They are awesome and perfect and have nothing to add to their knowledge of the craft...I'm so not ready for this--and so on...

However, I've stopped that lurking and self-pitying. I've reminded myself that I'm accepted. I'm forking out (or will be) a lot of dough for this education. I've got the ability somewhere deep down inside to make it through, just like I did in my undergraduate years at SHU. I'm going to make it because it's just what I do.

It's not been a secret that I've felt displaced in the past few months. Direction is hard to come by when waiting on answers from your future makers at colleges. Time is an ally and an enemy. I read over my application essay that got me in. I remind myself that I have all of the abilities that I said I did. I imagine that my classmates feel something of the same. And I catch myself doing it again--trying to bring everyone down to a human level. We all have families that live in little houses with picket fences or drive cars that sometimes won't start in the morning.

It's so easy to elevate people, including yourself, to something higher or lower than reality. Our minds act like bubble paper, sometimes cushioning and other times obscuring us from what is essential to see things as they are or could be. These mega journalists are going to be my friends and co-workers. I am on their level and they're on mine, and we have a job to do. We depend on every other human being to tell our stories, to pay our salaries (someday). I hope humility and confidence will balance themselves out in their own time.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at June 26, 2007 10:57 PM | TrackBack
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