To My Beloved Forthcoming 2020,

Please accept this message as my heartfelt outpour, as I am a writer, this is my medium to communicate with you:

No disrespect, but you belong to me.

By now, you hopefully recognize me (this is not our first correspondence). In fact, I’ve spent many days dreaming of your potential and referring to you by name. We Africans, Nigerians in particular, put a lot of stock into names and their meanings. And you, 2020, may have one of the most powerful names I have come across (outside of Y2K, no shade). The implication being the name donned for those with perfect vision, for those that see clearly. Let me remind you who I am and why I may look so familiar, like one of those relatives that insist you remember them from that one time they carried you when you were 9 months old.

Let me introduce myself…

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How a Dream Becomes a Vision

In Nigerian culture,** parents typically assemble grandparents, close friends, a pastor, and relatives for a naming ceremony for the child, 7 days after birth. It is an occasion full of celebration, prayer, and inspiration as everyone revels over what the child’s name will be. Typically, the child will have several traditional names, an English (or name from a book within their religious faith), and a family surname. Continue reading

F.U.B.U. Advice to Demystify Grad School

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

D155: Confronting the Awkward Truth – What Exactly is a PhD? And What Am I Getting Myself Into?

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