Happy first anniversary my dear blog and readers! Soon it will be the one-year mark from when I first stepped off the train in Aberystwyth to begin a new life. A new life where the sea met friends met history scholarship met the best moments of my life.

Grad school is described by many a person as “terrifying” and the “hardest thing they’ve ever done.” Maybe that’s true. I’m only in my second week of classes and I’ve got a pretty good handle on everything so it isn’t terrifying yet. It isn’t even particularly hard yet. I keep waiting for another shoe to drop. Sure, I’m busy. But I’m not so busy I’m changing my sleep routines or really giving anything up.

It makes me think of all the things that people find terrifying that I’ve done. I’ve moved to a new country  – twice; I’ve travelled alone; I’ve walked alone in a town at 1 am; I’ve climbed a mountain; I’ve lived with complete strangers; I’ve tried haggis, rabbit and octopus.

With the exception of one new country move, all of these experiences have happened in the past year. And I can only think of one that was remotely close to terrifying: walking alone in a town at 1 am. That one happened over my trip to Malta when I was walking from Paceville to St. Julian’s through some (abandoned) sketchy-back roads back to the hostel.

Did moving to Aberystwyth make me more brave? Ha, I doubt it. What I think living in Aberystwyth taught me was there are shades of terrifying. Terrifying can be trying that exotic food that you have no idea what it is. Terrifying can be travelling alone. Terrifying can even be facing a long-time fear like failure. But there are shades, or levels. Some things I will never want to try because they would scare all of the life out of me (skydiving is an example) and others, like living with complete strangers, I just see as a new adventure.

So grad school is just a new adventure. It’s not terrifying. At least, not yet. 🙂