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Millikin University > Millikin University Blogs > Alumni Blogs > The ups and downs of life as a Ph.D. student > Posts > Congratulations Millikin!

Another school year checked off of the list! It has certainly been a revolutionary year for me, and I can truly say that life is pretty good. This first year in graduate school was definitely a tough one for me, both personally and academically. I struggled through many personal losses and difficult changes. Challenging coursework found me frustrated and discouraged. My spiritual life also took a few hits. Sounds like a failure of a year huh? I completely disagree.  I’ve learned that grad school is all about reflecting and re-evaluating your perspective…on everything!  From the obvious to the not so obvious, I can honestly say that I have changed in plenty of aspects of my life. Looking back to my graduation from Millikin this time last year, I am not sure that that girl walking across the stage would recognize the woman I am today.  I find the changes in me to be positive ones. Although I will admit, I am not 100% there yet, I understand myself a little better now; everything from how I learn, what I desire for my life, who I was, am, and hope to become, and how important it is for me to actually live my life instead of always planning my next step.

The first year post-grad is a difficult transition for each and every student. Whether you are in the workforce, pursuing higher education, getting married, starting a family, seeking employment, or others, drastic changes can shake you off the path you once had so delicately and calculatedly planned out for yourself. Graduates of 2011, THIS IS NORMAL! As a direct result of the changes that ensue, you will experience fear, disappointment, confusion, discouragement, growing pains, and possibly even regret.  Always remember that nothing in life ever seems to turn out the way you expected! To combat this, you are now armed with life’s most worthy weapon: education. Your mind is now a catalyst for the future!

My advice? Prepare for the growing pains to impact all aspects of your life. Expect to discover that you are not completely prepared for the workforce/marriage/adult life/etc and embrace this as a time of learning. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself changing your mind about your future career goals. Recognize that relationships change and grow and perhaps end after college. And finally, take the time to reflect and re-evaluate, a lot! You cannot learn without looking back and reviewing the ups and downs!

In a way this blog has been my mode of reflection, and I would like to thank my readers for their encouragement and support throughout the last year.

LB

 
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
 
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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