Now that I am able to look back at my graduate school experience, I laugh at that time because I was all over the place and unnecessarily creating a lot of anxiety. As time passed, I came to grips with the fact that I couldn’t do it all… at least not at the moment. So, I made a deal with myself to focus on research that was relevant to where I was in my life at the time, and when I was done with graduate school I’d spend the rest of my life doing studies on everything else. Needless to say, it ended up working out best for me to take such an approach. I engaged in topics that appealed to me personally and found myself growing professionally. I was able to explore a number of subjects, under the same general umbrella, and I graduated without a lot of headache. (And, of course, I truly felt like an expert in my field.)
Moral of the Story:
- Research can be a lot of fun. In fact, it can be so much fun that you just do not know what to do with it. I find that research opens you up to new worlds of information, exposes you to a variety of fields, and allows you to use that powerful brain of yours to draw connections like no one else. While the most important thing about conducting research is that you “find the gap” in the literature, the gap does not have to be a boring place. It’s yours to explore, be creative, and contribute to your field.
- For the sake of getting through graduate school, find a general area that really moves you, one that you believe can be used as a platform to move others, and write write write (present too). Do not lose sight of all the other amazing topics in your head… jot them down in a journal and get to them when you get a chance.
- Most of all, remember that conducting research is an ever evolving process and you’ll become more clear about your direction as time passes. Be patient with yourself for everything comes together at just the right time.
Love. Peace. Resilience.