Relationships are also different. One thing I have always enjoyed about my job is the collegiality and friendship. Peoples lives have changed quite bit in the past few years, though, with the births of children, marriages, and so on, so the time people can spend together has been affected. Also, underlying conflicts between some people have become more pronounced, making socializing more awkward in certain circumstances. It still happens, but less often, and between fewer people. There has been a change in leadership in the past few years, and two programs have merged, and like most workplaces nowadays, people are doing "more with less." I can't help but think that has also affected the social dynamic.
I'm excited about the classes I'm taking, particularly since I have one online and one face-to-face (which hopefully won't get canceled due to too few participants). That's my favorite combo because I enjoy that there is a certain degree of autonomy in the online classes (even though there are still due dates and such), but I still get the social aspect of the face-to-face classes. The class I'm particularly excited about is the YA literature class because I will get to read books I like to read ...usually, except for some weeks which will not be my favorite genres. I know this is heresy in the online world, but I'm not a big fan of science fiction or fantasy, although I think if I can consume it in graphic novel form (another week's requirements) I will enjoy it more.
I remember feeling so excited two years ago when I started the program. I knew I would take more than two years to finish because the plan was to take one or two classes per semester, including summers. It will probably take me one more semester than I planned because of availability of local or online classes. This program has on-campus, satellite, and online classes, and there have been experiments and changes with that since I started. I'm at the point where people I started with have graduated, even though I noticed one or two familiar names on the face-to-face class roster. Like at work, I'm feeling a little leftover and stale.
I know it is up to me to take steps to freshen things up. I'm just not quite sure how to go about it yet. I'm thinking new shoes will help. New shoes fix everything.