Saturday, October 13, 2012

. . . on grad school

My blog on saying Goodbye to Grad school has been long overdue. But, it’s only because I promised myself I would not finish writing and publishing it until I can finally pinpoint the words to say, articulate them clearly, and respond justly to the ups and downs of Grad school.  Grad school became a pivotal point in my life and career, I wanted to make sure I gave the experience enough time to simmer and manifest within myself.

Grad school demanded many sacrifices.  Some good, some … not so good.  Some sacrifices I wasn’t willing to give up, some I gave freely.  I’m not quite in a position to have enough retrospective wisdom (yet), but what I do know is the sacrifices I made will be worth it in the end (it better be).  Grad school, although seemingly overwhelming in the midst of it, was merely a speckle in time.  But, during that time life took a ride on so many different roller coasters. 

For one, I do not have the same group of friends now that I had prior to Grad school.  Heck, I may have even made a few enemies in the past 3 years.  And even though that seems like a pretty rough assessment of where I am right now, at least it’s an honest one.  This is one of the categories I wasn’t really willing to give up.  But, the friends that have remained (including some new friends I made along the way) have been ever so loving, supportive, gracious, giving, and understanding.

Two, my life looks completely different right now than it did when I first started Grad school.  This was one of those sacrifices I freely gave.  I live in a different home with no roommates, I work at a different company, I frequent different places, and most of all I feel so much happier and healthier than I have felt since my undergrad.  Although I’ve only been at my current workplace for the past year the coworkers I have right now have been encouraging and supportive with my last year of Grad school.  I could not have asked for better people to be surrounded by during those challenging times.  I am forever indebted to them, and grateful.

Three, my family has been nothing but patient, loving, and accepting of me during the past three years.  I have had to miss family functions, birthdays, celebrations, I think there was even an Easter I missed somewhere in there.  None of that mattered to them.  What mattered to them were my education and ability to care for myself while going to school full-time as well as working full-time.  They brought me meals in times of stress.  They took me in if I didn’t want to drive back to Pasadena that night.  They checked in on me to make sure everything was okay if they hadn’t heard from me in a while.

So, I tip my hat off to the people in my life that have uplifted me, encouraged me, supported me, and loved me.  I would not have survived without you. Thank you.

I leave you tonight with what I had (and didn’t know I needed) as a reminder, for the last 2 months of my Graduate career, a post-it note with the words “You will be fine” on it, written by a very dear friend of mine.

We will be just fine.

. . . on saying goodbye

Goodbye Grad school, I will not miss you…

I will not miss your sleepless nights
I will not miss your hard deadlines
I will not miss your long work days
I will not miss your never-ending study days
I will not miss your online lessons
I will not miss your Saturday classes
I will not miss your awkward group projects
I will not miss your heavy thick text books

Goodbye Grad school, I just might miss you…
I just might miss new insights gained
I just might miss new friends I made
I just might miss your mentorships
I just might miss your lecture halls
I just might miss your deep discussions
I just might miss your lovely campus
I just might miss your diversity
I just might miss your strategies

Goodbye Grad school, I’m gonna miss you.