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Grad notes: loving it

After a month of being a graduate student at Mills, I’m half bald, have puberty-like break-outs and am beginning to wonder if sleep deprivation is a possible cause of death.

But I absolutely love it.

After getting over the initial butterflies and bewilderment of a new school, I’ve picked up the rhyme and rhythm of Mills. At the least I know the locations of the basic necessities: where to get coffee, where the best parking spots are and good places to cat nap.

More and more I’m starting to feel that Mills is a home away from home. Commuting five days a week allows me to take advantage of some of the great things Mills offers. The pool is fantastic. As a below average swimmer, it can be intimidating to swim next to people who can actually put their face in the water but everyone is welcoming. I’ve even received some unofficial free lessons of how to not suck up half the pool while trying to do the basic freestyle.

Founders is an awesome place to gorge yourself after a late class. Compared to the slop I ate as a freshwoman at California State University, Chico, Founders is a dream. Plus, the hike to get there makes you feel a little less guilty for getting that second plate stacked with sesame chicken.

Five months have passed since I graduated from Chico State. I guess months aren’t enough to get over my past college because I keep comparing it to Mills. Chico State and I had a mutual parting. It couldn’t offer me anything more and I had gone as far as I could go there. Mills isn’t better its just a different kind of relationship. Mills is smaller, more diverse and of course in tune with women’s issues.

Coming from a school with a population of 15,000-plus students who live within two miles of the campus to a school of 1,500 is a huge difference. I saw new people every day on campus. Now I can predict who I’m going to see when I get coffee every morning. I might even know their life story by the end of the semester.

Although its only been a month I still feel like graduate students are the step-children in the Mills family. We’re invited to all the festivities but we’re not really included in them. I’m still used to being an undergrad student where the campus world revolved around me. I’m sure this feeling will dissipate as my relationship with Mills progresses. For now, I’m trying to curb my new addiction to coffee and invest in some Zen stress balls to save my hair.