Unprepared: Our Noreaster and My Experience Coming Straight From Undergrad

Lately, I’ve been feeling really unprepared for life.

We had the first Noreaster of the season this week, and it caught me pretty off-guard.  My mom warned me about it over the weekend, but I was caught up in the election excitement and all my school work.  So on Wednesday, I went to class in a hoodie and cloth flats, completely not expecting to be brushing off three inches of snow and slush from my car after class.  And I still haven’t even put snow tires on my car, despite the fact my mother reminds me every time she calls.

OK, so maybe this photo is an exaggeration. This wasn’t from this storm, it was one at home a year and a half ago, but it certainly felt like this!

I’ve been feeling unprepared in everything lately, not just the storm.  I was unprepared to:

  • Be thousands of miles away from my closest friends and my family.
  • Move into a house with five other girls and share the kitchen.
  • Live in a big city with no farms or cows 10 minutes away.
  • Risk my life every time I get behind the wheel because drivers here are crazy.
  • Fall in love as soon as I got here and abandon my well seasoned cynicism.
  • Be responsible for my own caseload of 9 clients at my internship.
  • Be extremely broke all the time despite working 3 part-time jobs.
  • Or even be in grad school at all.

Allow me to elaborate.  I came to MSPP straight from undergrad.  Most of my college friends took a year off to “find themselves” or save up some money, or just unwind from four stressful years at a really prestigious university.  But nope, not me.  I’ve known I wanted to study psychology since my freshman year of high school, and I didn’t want to wait any longer to pursue my dream, so I just went for it.

Sometimes, I wonder if I rushed things.  I looked at schools and took my GRE the summer before senior year of undergrad.  I applied to 7 doctoral programs in my fall semester and interviewed in the spring.  I applied early consideration to MSPP, and already had my practicum placement and new apartment solidified before I even graduated college.  I keep finding myself asking, was I really ready for this big change?

After the snow storm, I have finally come up with an answer.  No, I wasn’t ready for grad school.  But the thing is- we will never really be “ready” or fully prepared for the big changes in our lives.  Sometimes we plan them, like grad school, and sometimes they take us by surprise, like wearing cloth flats in 3″ of snow and slush.  Anticipated or not, change is hard.  I may not have been ready this year, but I wouldn’t have been any more prepared a year, or even 10 years down the road.  You never really know what the storm will be like until it’s already snowing.  Your only choice is to shovel out your car and drive as carefully as you can until you get home.

I can’t say that I’m happy to have a surprise snow storm in the beginning of November, but I am definitely excited to be starting and continuing this journey at MSPP.  I may not feel totally prepared, but my faculty, supervisors, and peers are going to be my snow tires, and they will get me home to graduation safely.

Last year’s surprise Halloween storm

P.S. I’m finally going to buy real snow tires today!

About Hannah

Hello, my name is Hannah and I am a 1st year student in the clinical PsyD program at MSPP. I graduated from Wesleyan University last year with my B.A. in Psychology. I am originally from a very small farm town in upstate NY. My personal interests include baking, running, hiking, and procrastinating my homework by watching cat and baby videos on YouTube.
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2 Responses to Unprepared: Our Noreaster and My Experience Coming Straight From Undergrad

  1. Tasmiah says:

    Dear Hannah,

    Wishing you the best! You’ve braved through crazier things in the past and I KNOW you can beast through grad school with grace :)

    Missing you lots,
    me (<–that was a classic Donady)

  2. TJ says:

    …and added to all your achievements, you are a terrific writer. lovely metaphor, beautifully written. thx!

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