Srsly, you guys, I feel like I’m in the funniest situation all the time right now.  Basically, as the semester ends (this is finals week), everyone around me is getting a feeling of things winding down and finishing up.  I, on the other hand, am having a feeling of complete panic because I have about a zillion things that all need to be finished by about January 23rd.  Okay, not a zillion things, but three really big things that can be broken down into a zillion normal things.  These things include: an NSF preproposal, getting ready for my Genetics lecture course, putting together my first report for evaluation by the department/dean.  Add to that the various ins-and-outs of holiday travel combined with a week-long conference during the break, and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The funny thing is that everyone keeps asking me how my first semester has gone, and it’s actually gone really well (I think) in that people have been very friendly and supportive.  So that’s what I say, but what I really feel like saying is “I’m freaking out!”

I know it’s really okay, and these feelings are just part of starting a stressful new job.  I’ve actually starting telling some of my colleagues, and I’ve gotten very reassuring responses along the lines of “I know! I haven’t started my preproposal either!”  This makes me feel better, and it’s a good demonstration of the fact that even though it seems like other people have everything under control, they really don’t.  We all try to look like we know what we’re doing, and while I’m sure that some people really do, I am always kind of relieved to know that a lot of people get behind, or feel intimidated, or just fake it sometimes.  Like me.

So, if you’re feeling stressed right now as well, I offer one of my best tools for serenity: calming manatees.  Now, back to work!