D115: Your Whole Life is the Sum of Your Relationships

Your entire life is the sum of your relationships.

Think about it.

I didn’t realize how monumental relationships truly were. I knew that I loved my family and that was the most important relationship that I had up until this point. I never considered that my life can be wholly represented by the relationships I build, maintain, break off–it’s a reflection of my volatility, comfort levels and surroundings. It impacts my trajectory, how far I go, the things I enjoy, hobbies I do, food I eat, culture I consume. And among the most relevant to me now: it affects my research and the outcome of my degree. I am committing myself to an extended relationship that connects me with a multi-year experience, notoriety and respect from colleges, future jobs and potentially work that can change some small part of the world.

A relationship between advisor and advisee is absolutely critical. I wanted so much to rush the process as I often attempt to do. Enjoy the process of finding a good match research-wise and personally. It involves more than finding people that look good on paper, I realize now that the work I’m doing is not nearly as important as who I’m doing it with. My best experiences have come when I’ve had incredible and passionate people serving as my mentors. Time to resume the search!


red-scribbled-heartListening to your heart. You typically wouldn’t rush into a marriage with someone you barely know. You wouldn’t commit yourself to one passion without having explored other options and interests. Be wary of rushing into selecting an advisor. It’s a very important relationship that deserves time and careful consideration as well. If things don’t feel right, listen to that instinct!

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