16 January 2010

Change of station

Next week begins a new chapter.

If you've been following along, you know that I've been attending a local junior college to pick up classes I needed to transfer to a four year university. You also might know that I recently graduated from the junior college, and have in fact transferred. (If you didn't know these things, well, you do now.)

I managed to get things under control enough last semester to make it through, but doing so wasn't always easy. The entire school was in one overcrowded building, and even the library was a generally noisy and chaotic place. Finding quiet time and space when my PTSD got triggered was often quite difficult. I had trouble studying at home, not being able to get much done in my apartment. There were a few anxious moments with grades-- I struggled at times-- but I stuck with it, and eventually came out all right.

Now, new semester, new classes, and most important, new school.

I recently attended my new school's orientation program for transfer students, a one day workshop where you get an introduction to advisors and registering for classes. It's enough to get you an initial class schedule, which gets you started. Although I expected to be pretty anxious, and possibly triggered, I was okay for most of the day. I was fortunate that I ran into several students I knew from last semester's classes, that had transferred in as well. So I had friendly company for most of the day. I also talked to someone from the on campus student veterans group, which I intend to participate in.

Tuesday is the first day of classes.

On Tuesday, the goal is realized. All of the work I put into recovery, all of the work I put into classes to get here, and everything that happened along the way will converge. I'll get off the bus, hopefully remember which hall I'm headed to and remember how to find it, and classes will start. I'll be here, instead of trying to get there.

And it's a little scary because I don't know how my PTSD fits in to the new environment. I don't know what, if any, my triggers will be. I've had some exposure to the new campus, but not as a student that belongs to the campus. I know I have a set of tools, things that I've learned, that can get me through most any situation. I know that they work, because if they didn't, I wouldn't be here to write this. But I'm still nervous.

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