(This is a story of recent events that, when all written-out, was way too long for one blog post.
Enjoy part one...)
"The goal is to know God,
not to know more..."
Once upon a time there was a girl.
In college she majored in coffee dates.
Not really, she majored in psychology. But she spent significantly more time on coffee dates than studying, which is relevant to the rest of this story.
The girl loved lots of things. Like knitting, and hugging, and going for walks. She loved runs on the prairie path and speaking Spanish and eating out with friends. She loved snail-mail, and journaling, and books by Henri Nouwen, and inviting people over for game nights. She loved days with nowhere to be and lots of people to talk to.
So naturally, she did exactly what you'd expect from someone whose entire worldview screams COZY AND RELATIONAL...
She decided to move across the country and enter a freakin' doctoral program.
Surprise! The girl is me. You totally didn't see that coming, did you?
I love a lot of things about grad school. But there are also a lot of things I don't love about it. I tried to write to explain those things three separate times and it kept coming out in a long stream of stressed out consciousness... but basically, to summarize:
The world of academia is intense. And whether you think it's a good world or a bad world, it is not a world for which I am a natural fit.
Graduate school has its difficulties which can be expected: long hours, steep learning curves, needing to stretch oneself in mind and abilities.
But the unique stresses of competition and professionalism, the unkindness that can come with people running on little sleep and fear of failure, and the arrogance that can be bred among a "community" of academics... has not been like anything I've experienced before.
And I've spent a lot of time wondering if I'm in the right place and pursuing the right career.
Last semester contained more stress than I've been under in recent memory. There were tears, and sleeplessness, and a lot of doubts running through my head and heart. Christmas break held a lot of hard prayers, hard conversations with people who know and love me well, and hard questions to ask myself.
Do I want to be here? Is this degree worth this pace and quality of life? Am I going to like myself when I'm done here?!
(...to be continued...)
(emily freaks out about grad school, parts two and three)