I am now fully registered, and on Monday I return to classes for my second year of university. It feels a bit momentous because despite years and years of previous university experience I've never been this directly focused, this likely to actually end up getting a degree.
That, the experiences of last year, and the fact that I need to do better than last year* has me feeling a certain amount of sickness at the moment. And I am brought back to the old feeling that at any minute someone is going to pull me aside and say: "Look, we're sorry for messing you about, but there's been a terrible mistake. We got you confused with JC Cope. Obviously, as even you must have figured out by now, you don't belong here at all."
And I feel even more pressure knowing that I am attending the British equivalent of an Ivy League school. Well, according to Wikipedia.
For our international viewers, U.S. colleges are broken into all kinds of groupings that are mostly used in sport. For example, the child bride's alma mater, University of Minnesota, is a Big Ten university. Very strangely, Big Ten has 11 members. The "Ivy League" is another one of those athletic conferences but the term is also (and perhaps more commonly) used to denote some of the traditionally best universities in the United States, e.g, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
According to Wikipedia, the Russell Group of universities "is sometimes referred to as the British equivalent of the Ivy League." And Cardiff University is among them. What the hell am I doing here?
Of course, University of Southampton is also amid that "elite" group, and Southampton will accept anybody.
But I still can't shake that nagging feeling that I am out of my depth and that someone should pull me from the game before I get hurt.
*I passed and since the first year is pass-fail, I shouldn't really spend too much time fussing over particulars. But they don't send geniuses to summer refresher courses, which indicates that there's quite a bit of room for improvement. This is a key issue for me because I have visions of carrying on and earning a master's degree. But to do so, according to the literature, I need to meet a grade minimum of 2.1. For those of you playing along at home, that's not grade point average. The British university grading system doesn't really translate to U.S. terms; there are four levels above passing: 1st degree, 2.1 degree, 2.2 degree and 3rd degree.