I’m going to graduate school!
A lot of my friends already know this, but I felt like I should share the news again.
It’s been three years since I knew I wanted this for myself, but I kept pushing it off because I felt I just wasn’t ready. So, this is a big, big, huge deal for me.
The grad application process (and my many, many subsequent rejections) has been a unique experience–one that has been financially costly, emotionally debilitating, and strangely humbling. I spent many nights writing, editing, and re-editing (did I mention editing?) my personal statements, talking to faculty and graduate students at different programs, and doing a lot of research on schools. It got to the point where I was getting pretty unrealistically attached to particular programs. My overactive imagination had me thinking of how amazing it would be go to a certain school, meet new friends and have cool & intellectual conversations. And so, when I was getting rejection after rejection, it was tough. Like, questioning my entire life trajectory, sort of tough.
But, surprisingly (at least to me), I’ve made it through and am ready (hopefully) to make some sort of mark on the world around me & impact at least a little part of it for the better. I’m tremendously excited about the research that faculty in the department are doing, and it’s really nice to know that I’ll get to be a part of it, while also doing my own research and producing knowledge–not just consuming knowledge like I consume Taco Bell in my bed at night.
Okay. So, now that I covered me being excited and whatnot, here’s where the gushing and mushy stuff starts. You’ve been warned.
I know how lucky I am. I recognize how serendipitous it all is. And I don’t take it for granted. Whenever something sort of big in my life happens, I try to reflect, be thankful, and extend my gratitude for my loved ones to an e-abyss of sorts (aka my blog). It’s the closest thing I have to prayer.
I am so unbelievably grateful for the people and the places that have made me the person I am today. I couldn’t have found my place and come to love myself the way I do if it weren’t for the friends, mentors, and family I have that keep me grounded. That sense of love for myself and my community is what gave me the courage to pursue Sociology to study activism and social movements in the U.S…especially during a time when public education is under attack and there’s actually no job security in studying what I want to study since the tr*** administration doesn’t seem particularly fond of academic disciplines that question systems of capitalism and white supremacy, but that’s a different blog post for a different time.
ANYWHO, although I am incredibly nervous and almost overwhelmingly daunted by moving across the country, leaving my home, and starting a Ph.D. program, I am super happy…like ALL CAPS LOCKS TO EMULATE MY SCREAMING INSIDES happy. And the people in my life have motivated me, given me confidence, and encouraged me to believe in myself.
If I listed out every person who gave me hope and believed in me even when I questioned a lot of my skills & aspirations, this post would go on for days. Even me realizing that as I’m typing makes me want to smash my keyboard in delight. From my parents who dealt with me flip-flap-flopping through different dream careers (fashion designer, stylist, business owner, literallyanythingexceptapharmacist) and still supported me when I got straight up D’s and F’s because they “knew I was smarter than that”, to my roommates who became my closest friends, I’ve been given a lot of wonderful people in my life. Knowing that makes it so much harder for me to leave. But, I’m certain I’ll move on to the next chapter with them in mind, motivating me to be just as kind and loving to others as they have all been to me.
Aside from actual people, I’m also exceedingly thankful to the place I have called home since my momma and poppa made me.
California, you have been so good to me. You’ve taught me how to straddle waves, how to climb proverbial and literal mountains, how to fall, how to close my eyes without closing myself off. You gave my grandparents refuge, let them dream, gave them hope, cradled their family in your valleys. I don’t know what my life would be or what their life would be if we called anywhere else our home. I don’t dwell on it much, but when I do, I know it would be different. You gave me a safe place to grow, not without struggle, but your stretch of land saved me. I will always know you as “home”, even if miles separate us.
Even though I’m leaving, I’m happily confident (or confidently happy?) to know that the friendships I’ve cultivated over years are strong enough to overcome geographic distance and that the love I have for my community, my friends, and my family knows no bounds. I might be hundreds of miles away, but I know I’ll still get a call from my mom telling me to keep warm and be careful of snow. I know I can count on my best friends to send me memes on Instagram to keep me in the pop culture loop. And while I don’t think it would be feasible (or healthy), I know I could get plenty of people to Fed-Ex me some boba and Chinese food if I needed. That kind of support is what I’ll miss and what I’ll be searching for wherever life takes me.
So thank you to whomever is out there, whether it’s a deity or the universe or something else entirely, I am so grateful. I hope I can retain this feeling of gratitude when I’m stressed out beyond belief in approximately 5 months.
And the gushing is done.