Monday, August 10, 2009

Can you do it?

This weekend I went back to Yellow Springs, Ohio for Antioch's commencement. I recalled arriving on campus four years ago. I was early so I stopped at the bookstore and I thought about buying a t-shirt, and then I said to myself "I better make sure I like it, first. I'll come back later." Well, four years later, I can say without question, I LOVED IT!

The other starting and ending point that is quite vivid is that when I was applying to the program, I told my partner that I was confident about handling the writing, but was nervous about managing all the reading. I like to read, and read every day, but I'm not a fast reader and for years before I began doctoral study, I had mostly read a few pages before bed and a little bit more on vacation. I knew I was facing long reading lists. Could I do it? YES, I DID IT!

Most of us begin graduate study with concerns, anxiety, and maybe even fears. Sometimes our concerns are on the mark and we have accurately identified challenges we will face (in my case, the writing did come more easily than the reading). In other cases, we discover strengths we didn't know we had (e.g. I've had colleagues who never expected that they would embrace and become solid in quantitative research, and they did).

Readers who are already immersed in your work... what have been the surprises and confirmations re: your concerns before you began study?

One of the most amazing things that graduate study does is it stretches us. We find out we are capable of more than we anticipated.



photo from Venice Beach, CA by HLS

1 comment:

  1. Graduate studies can somtimes be that "resistance" we talk about. Excited to move forward, yet hesitant to start something new that at times seems beyond our reach.

    Congrats on reaching your goal. So did you buy a t-shirt? ;)


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