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Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I've been struggling with deciding if I want to continue in my graduate degree. Days like yesterday, when I was super happy about the paper I wrote, glad to have it turned in, and feeling like I accomplished something useful, are great. And then there are other days (which seem more numerous as of late) where I feel like I hate what I'm studying, I don't want to be a professor, and the idea of spending the rest of my life doing research and writing papers makes me want to vomit. I haven't like the idea of changing my mind about grad school because it feels like giving up. My mom keeps telling me that it's not giving up, but being in charge of my life, and maybe someday I will be able to help someone else who is going through the same dilemma.

Well, today was someday. 

I had a student come to my office hours to talk about her exam score, and we ended up talking about how she wants to transfer schools instead. She doesn't like the east coast (she's from California and desperately wants to go back there). Her dream school is USC, but if she doesn't get in there she is not sure if she should stay at BU, which has an awesome Communications department and reputation, or if she should transfer to a public school in California with not as good of a reputation for Communications. She was asking me whether experience was more important than the degree or vice versa. She's studying PR, which, admittedly, I know nothing about, but I told her what I could about my experience. We talked about the pros and cons of her situation. I shared my experiences with her and answered her questions. Mostly I just helped her think through things. I told her to just apply to a bunch of different places and opportunities and see what she gets. Talk to professors, talk to everyone you can to get advice - that's something I wish I had done a little more of. When you try everything you possibly can - apply for every job, every program, every study abroad - one of the things you try for will be right. Plus, you'll have tons of options to choose from, and if none of them is right you still have BU. It's like I was telling her exactly what I needed to hear myself - coincidence? I think not.

I got to help a student! Really, legitimately help them. Not just help them understand Aristotle's artistic proofs. That was a fun surprise for my day. And my mom was right - my experience now, as I try to figure out my life, will help others too. I really wanted to tell her to pray about it, ha ha. I am more thankful every day that I have the Gospel to give me direction. Decisions are hard enough with that influence - I can't imagine deciding things without it. 

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