DISCLAIMER: It has come to my attention that some folk believe that I “have it all together.” Please accept this disclaimer as my way of saying three things: 1) I am figuring this out (and making this up) right alongside you dear reader; 2) I am not immune to feeling completely lost in tasks that are “supposed to be” routine by now; and 3) Sometimes I have to be reminded (by other people) of the things that I write (because most of my advice for you, is actually advice for me).
I’m still in school because I still have so many things to learn about myself and how the academy really works. In sharing my learnings on this journey, I hope that my vulnerability can act as a harbinger for your future concerns. I post so that YOU know, you’re NOT the only one out there feeling this way, and we can get through this together <3.
Confession: I am very afraid. I am a fourth year graduate student in the second year of my Ph.D. and my insides tighten every time someone says, “Wow, you’re almost done. Right??” (cue eyeroll and shoulder shrug)
If there’s a young child in your life, I want you to try this experiment or do an observation (in a non-creepy way) of a healthy parent-child interaction.
EXPERIMENT: Watch the child do or say something that makes others laugh, smile, or offer a lot of positive reinforcement and celebration. Make note on whether or not the observed behavior is then repeated. Ponder why or why not.
What am I getting at here? In Lisa Nichols’ powerful book, Abundance Now, she uncovers a truth that shook me to my core: Continue reading
It’s so dastardly simple that it’s also a bit hard to accept as an answer. But so much of what we need to do in life can be boiled down to just showing up. Bringing all of your attention, heart, and body into the space where you’re working. Relationships, presentations, acts of service would all be radically different if people just vowed to do this one act. Continue reading
CONGRATULATIONS on deciding to pursue a graduate degree at (INSERT name of your dream graduate program here). We are so looking forward to having you here to (INSERT project/idea that you believe deep down will fundamentally change the world). There are a few things you should know to get started with the waterboarding–whoops! We meant “onboarding” process (NOTE: we totally meant “waterboarding”).
Look familiar? Not sure where to start? Below, you can find a short list of tips to help you start your graduate school journey strong so the above no longer looks familiar. Continue reading
I had long cherished the idea of entrepreneurship as a salvation; the thing I was meant to do that would lift me above the discontents of normal life. After industry internships, I longed for the flexibility and autonomy that being my own boss enabled. This past summer, I worked as a Technology Transfer Entrepreneur for DOE. Actually working as an entrepreneur changed how I thought about almost everything. Every person I met Continue reading
As a black woman born to poor immigrants, I don’t have the luxury of relying on “good enough,” I know my work is often inspected more critically. Marginalized identities cannot settle for “good enough” because the sad truth is—we’re taught to aim low. Thus, I’ve committed to Continue reading
Stanford is a place of privilege. Quite the privilege at that. I am still learning how to navigate the breadth of resources, wealth, and influence, that I am surrounded by every day. I am still figuring out how to explain to my parents the people that I’m meeting and the opportunities that I now have–the kinds none of us knew would ever be possible.
I am also still discovering what a Ph.D. actually is and whether or not I still want one. I don’t have the luxury of asking my parents Continue reading
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, Continue reading