“The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want” – Ben Stein
Went to my first graduate school interview in New York City this past week and it was definitely an experience. I will not know the results till February 3rd so I will try to keep busy so that time can go by quickly. If I get in that would be good since I liked the program and NYC is an awesome place but if I don’t, I will still appreciate going through the experience and just take it as a sign that it wasn’t a good fit. However I will be honest if I do not get accepted anywhere I do not think I will continue on this course, at least for the time being.
A mistake I have made in life is that I have never stopped and looked at my life. In high school I strived for college acceptance and getting as far as I could from San Diego and kept myself busier than any high schooler should ever be. In college I strived to go to medical school prior to my introduction to research and graduate school ever since. Once I decided I wanted to go to graduate school, every decision I had made thus far was to reach that goal. Rather than travel or take a break upon college graduation I got a full-time job at an academic lab that while the pay isn’t great I thought would provide me the training to go to grad school rather than following the more lucrative industry route. The last time I remember having a break was the summer of 2003 or 2004 , thats 5.5- 6 years of working non-stop and not really taking a break and its taking its toll on me physically and emotionally. Everything I have done the past two years has been centered around going to graduate school, GREs, grad school applications, staying late to finish experiments, working full time with little vacation, so if I don’t get in or get additional interviews, I am not sure if I can continue on this route without a serious look at what I havent been doing and what needs to be done. In order for me to do this I will need to step away from what I am doing now and take a critical look at my life.
So good or bad as of May/June of this year I see major changes in my life. Graduate school is the reason I have stayed at my job when to be honest I am not happy and haven’t been happy for quite some time, so when that reason is taken away, I feel as though my liking of my boss may not be enough to keep me there because to be honest I am quite disappointed in the little progress I have made over such a long period of time. I may have to seriously think about finding a lab that will help me reach my goals and give me full projects that lead to publications because its been two years already and I have worked so ridiculously hard with little to show for it. I didn’t have a 4.0 but I did make up for my earlier mistakes in college but yet those early mistakes to kick me in the ass whenever there is a window of opportunity. I like science but I am also 25 years of age and I can’t continue chasing a dream that may never come true without seriously pondering where I am and my next step. If I get into graduate school I will use this summer to take a break to travel and prepare for moving. If I don’t get in I will probably still take a break and then apply for the Peace Corps or look into other possible careers and the steps I need to do. Starting over from scratch would be hard but sometimes you have to accept life for what it is and pick yourself back up