Being Nervous is Great!


This time next week, I’ll be in a Night Before A New School Year panic.  It would be nice if I was sleeping at 1:15 AM, but I’m going to go ahead and assume my insomnia won’t cooperate.  Going to graduate school has me feeling nervous.  I read this bit of an interview with Amy Poehler, and it made me feel better about my nerves.

“I think it’s glorious to be nervous.  Being nervous is great! How often do we get nervous on a daily basis? Being slightly nervous means you care, and you’re alive, and you’re taking some kind of risk. Hooray for being nervous! A friend told me to substitute the word ‘excitement’ for ‘nervous.’ That way you acknowledge the physical feelings without putting a negative spin on things. So to answer your question, sometimes I still get so excited about ‘Weekend Update’ that I want to throw up.”

I can’t stand when people aren’t passionate about things.  Not caring is this really cool, hipster thing to do right now.  It drives me crazy.  Of course you should care.  I feel like Not Caring is a defense, some sort of protective barrier against embarrassment.  It’s easier to Not Care and Not Participate than to go for it and look stupid doing it.  So what if your hair sticks to your forehead or you end up with visible sweat stains?  That’s awesome.  Good for you, you should be reveling in the miracle of your existence.

I’m nervous for school.  I’m nervous about meeting new people and being awkward.  I’m nervous that nobody will find me charming or endearing.  I’m nervous that my comments won’t be the most intelligent in class, or that I’ll misinterpret theories.  I’m nervous about all of those things.  But I’m mostly excited.  I’m excited to go do this thing I love, and meet new people and talk about/become a part of this super cool academic field.  And if that sounds nerdy or uncool, it doesn’t matter because I care and I’m alive and I’m willing to risk embarrassment for something I’m so passionate about.


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