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Millikin University > Millikin University Blogs > Alumni Blogs > The ups and downs of life as a Ph.D. student > Posts > One semester down, only about 9 more to go!
    Hello Millikin! I miss you so much. As my blog title denotes, grad school definitely has its downs and I frequently feel nostalgic for undergrad. I went through a lot of personal changes last semester, that resulted from the sacrifices I have to make for the career path I have chosen. I learned that being proactive and focused on my future is not selfish, its what is best for me.  
    As I venture forward into this new semester, I am determined to use this amazing time in my life to be open for growth and change. I learned last semester that fighting these is counterproductive and at times almost destructive to my life's path. There are a lot of distractions along the road that I now know are not worth sacrificing my own self discovery for. 
    Graduate school has this amazing way of forcing you to understand who you are and what you want for your life. That is, if you allow it to change you. The struggle last semester was that I was afraid to admit that I didn't have things all figured out. I thought that is what being a role model was all about; constantly being sure of myself. But I found that I was only fooling myself, to have it all figured out at 23 would be a world record I think! Not to mention a shame. I don't even think my 86 yr old grandmother would be confident in saying that she has a full grasp on the meaning of life. Admitting that I have more to learn and being open to learning is the only way for me to grow and reach my full potential. 
Hope your winter break is restful Millikin. I challenge you to use this fresh semester to allow yourself to be open for change!
Lauren Bringman
Millikin '10
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL