Monday, May 19, 2008

Thoughts from a Ph.D.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is official. On Saturday I walked across the stage to be hooded by my advisor. On Sunday, I walked the Lawn. And later on Sunday I walked across the stage to accept my (giant) diploma. (That, my friends, is a lot of walking!)

I haven't had much time to reflect on how I feel about being done. My gut reaction is that it feels really good. I'm proud of my accomplishments mostly because I know how hard I worked. I honestly don't think I could have worked any harder, and that is saying a lot. There's part of me that feels sort of sad. Not sad that I am finished, but that this amazing opportunity and part of my life is over. I think that being in graduate school has given me permission to be a bit selfish, to really focus on things that I want to do and read and learn. I don't know if I will have the same opportunity again in my professional life. As hard as it was, it was also an amazing time.

I have also been thinking a lot about the people around me who gave me support and encouragement. From neighbors, to friends, to the Js, I can really say that this is not something that I could do on my own. For someone who considers herself very independent that is a big thing. I realized that interdependence is key.

And the last thought, would I recommend a doctoral program? Probably not without being perfectly honest about how incredibly difficult it is. Rewarding? Absolutely. But this was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. There were times that I wanted to quit, times I didn't think I was smart enough, and more tears and frustrations than I can count. But ultimately it was worth it.

1 comment:

Big J said...

Thatgirl.... I'm so proud of you and what have you done. I'm looking forward to your (ours) next adventure. I LOVE YOU