Well, I survived my first day of classes as a grad student. Remember just a few days ago when I was so blissfully happy about "only" taking seven credits? That moment has passed. I've got the sylabi for three of the four courses I'm taking (one "real" class, one current concepts, and two seminars.) One of the seminars is an introduction to the department that all new grads are required to take, but which does not involve much in the way of work. The second seminar is on biogeography, and has an unknown workload. That's not too bad.
Then we get to the other two classes. The current concepts class is on adaptive radiations, and the "real" class is a systematics techniques course. Those are the two that have already taught me a very valuable/painful lesson: there really is a big difference between 400-level classes and 600-700-level classes. In addition to the reading load, both of the instructors have already mentioned that they think that a good term project for their class will have the potential to be published in a journal. So, hey, no pressure.
Between that and the time involved in TAing (my apologies to all my past TAs for thinking that they had an easy job), it's starting to look like a long semester.
But at least now I know why people were laughing at me when I was so happy about the seven-credit load.