Well - Induction Day on Monday went a lot more smoothly than I had anticipated. I tend to such days as a procession of hurdles that need to be successfully overcome. First, Train No1 was waiting in the station in the chilly 6am light....the computerised reservation system had failed so it was rather difficult to locate the correct carriage, let alone the right seat. The cross-country line is slow and there are regular stops along the way so journey No1 took three hours. Train No2 runs at approximately 15 minute intervals and arrived within a very short space of time so that I managed to disembark at my destination at 9.25. That left me 5 minutes to complete the 15 minute walk up to the department, but academia running as it does, I arrived in time to make myself a cup of lousy coffee before we were shepherded across the hall for the usual meet and greet stuff that makes up these things. It concluded with gratifying alacrity and I managed to have a few words with Academic Supervisor No2 before walking back downhill to the branch line station where I travelled one stop up the line to the main campus. It's rather a pleasant green-ish space surrounded by utilitarian brick-built units and a couple of remnants from the age of successful Victorian enterprise (the Great Hall and an enormously tall clock tower that seems to act as a giant sundial). Obtaining my student ID card I made my way (after a fairly decent latte) to the library that smelt....oooh....like books! I found a few useful volumes and, having checked them out, proceeded to lunch on a baked spud and coleslaw. Early afternoon I had my first meeting with my PhD supervisor: it went very well, and I think that we should be able to work together excellently. Having discussed targets and arranged the next session, I made my way back to the branch-line station ...but not before I'd checked out the on-site Waterstones and made an appropriately reduced-price purchase courtesy of my new student card! Finding myself with a few spare minutes at the main station, I had another hot drink and waited in relative comfort in the passenger lounge before boarding the 16:30 home. I eventually arrived back at our house at 7.30pm, much to the excitement of the dog, who'd been wondering where I'd been all day.
The upshot to all this is that the things that I had worried about prior to the event didn't trouble me: I pushed through the 'comfort zone' and am pretty sure that next time I won't feel anything like as apprehensive. Success.