This question makes me think of those old “Choose your own adventure” books. So first before we choose what comes next, maybe we should do a quick recap of the past.
Work and life balance:
My work and life balance was completely off balance throughout my first and second years of grad school, with too much emphasis on the former and very little of the latter. I think I’ve been improving gradually, learning from experience that emphasizing the importance of life makes work more productive, and importantly, more fulfilling.
I’ve made errors, but mistakes are to be learned from. Candidacy was also an interesting experience in this department, as it really emphasized how awesome my committee selection was and how I can turn around from being timid around professors to enjoying their scholarly discussion about my work.
I would say that this was my greatest accomplishment during my second year, but I think it’s actually how things changed after candidacy that are more worth mentioning. I’ve renewed some of that confidence I had completely lost upon entering grad school (a.k.a. imposter syndrome) and no longer feel encumbered by that need to prove myself to this apparition that’s been hovering over my shoulder.
Winter in Ann Arbor:
Why I came to U-M:
And still wouldn’t change my decision if I had to go back and do it again.
Something that I STILL don’t know, but I think it’s something about that discovery process that is success in itself. Just speculation.
This all sounds really positive, but like I said when I started blogging, I wanted other students to know that they’re not alone in those doubtful thoughts. I sank really deep, but at some point in time I started wanting to prove all the doubters wrong. And so I will do that…and more, and hopefully surprise you with all that I can do and accomplish . That is what comes next.
So with all that…choose your path:
About the Author
Hong Tran, Ph.D. Student, Chemical Biology
Published in: Student Voices