Monday, October 3, 2011


How do you find where you belong while still being true to yourself? My first six weeks in grad school have been such an interesting experience. Most of the time I love it; I mean its is sort of a dream dancing everyday and focusing on curriculum that I'm truly interested in. I'm super lucky to take classes with a ton of people in different stages. It's not only my graduate class; there are two other graduate levels and the entire undergraduate students in the modern dance program. Sometimes though, its interesting to watch dynamics in the classes. People who are determined to be seen as intellectuals, people who are determined to  be "popular" (and I thought I was done with that in high school...) , or people who just want to fly under the radar and do whatever they need to in order to get by.

...and then there's me. 

I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise to you, but my training in dance at the University of Utah is very different from my undergraduate study. I had a clear idea of what graduate school would be like, and it's been remarkably close to what I anticipated. I'm just starting to wonder where I fit into all of it; especially if I change. What then? You know? you know? It's ok if you don't. I'm not sure if I do either.

Did anyone else have a rough transition into the grad ed world?

... I hope your Monday isn't as confusing as mine, friends.


  1. Alyssa, it's Andrew. I had a couple of thoughts, I don't know if any are applicable to your situation or not but I may as well share. First off- I remember that feeling. I had it a little bit when I got to grad school, and it became painfully more intense when I started my second semester while going through a divorce. What I learned is- you will change. I also learned that changing is not what I used to think it was. I thought changing meant that I am not being true to myself, that there is an "Andrew" inside of me that is the real one, that I needed to find that person and hang on to him tenaciously- in fact I tried to recreate who I thought I used to be but no longer was for a while... What I came to realize is- I am always changing. I always have been changing. People and situations come into our lives and effect us, that's good. In my mind that means we are living- to not change is to die in a way because life=change. So, I guess in my mind, what I am hearing you say is- there is something about this that is rubbing me in an uncomfortable way. Then it becomes the whole oyster/pearl situation- either you are the grain of sand or you are the oyster, either way the situation is dealt with and something of value comes out of it... does that make sense?

    PS- the grain of sand by itself never "fits in".

  2. Well, I don't have anything to say as deep as Andrew's comment, and I never went to grad school, but I did go from Ricks (BYU-I)to a state school and was pretty surprised at the differences -- mainly, that at the church schools, there is such a pervasive atmosphere of striving for excellence. At state schools, like you mentioned, the atmosphere is a lot like high school. I kept looking around at the high-school-like students and thinking, "I can't believe they are actually paying to be here and do this. Maybe their parents are paying and making them attend?" Crazy! And there is the obvious difference that some students are Mormons, and some students are anti-Mormon. Not much in-between.
    I hope you continue to enjoy it and wow everyone around you!

  3. Much thanks to both of you. Andrew, I've been thinking alot about you comment, and it makes more and more sense with each day. Tiff- your comment verbalized a lot of what I've been thinking as well. I plan to attack my frustrations with an aggressive dose of bubble baths, cream soda and badly dubbed chinese action films. Hopefully it does the trick. Really though, thanks you two.



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