“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
“It couldn’t have happened anywhere but in little old New York” ~O. Henry
Was checking my email early this morning and found out that I received a grad school interview offer, what a wonderful christmas present don’t you think? This will be the first time I have ever been in New York and by the looks of the itinerary it will a couple days of many firsts. An interview is just an interview and there are no guarantees but I am just happy that they saw something in my application that warranted an interview so there must be hope for me yet.
“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”
~Agnes M. Pharo
Merry Christmas everyone! May every one of you have good health and happiness in the coming year.
“Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated”. ~Lamartine
I miss you. Do you miss me?
“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Confidence is the key to everything. However confidence is not always a given, it is not something that we inherently have, its something we must discover within ourselves. I firmly believe that the people around me have more confidence in my abilities then I have, its something that I am working on, however like everything else in life, it definitely hasn’t been easy, and the journey to self-confidence has definitely not been a short one. I think part of the problem is I have never had that one thing that was me, that I am amazingly awesome at. In a lot of ways I feel as though I am a part of the scenery, the person you know of but don’t actually know, and its mostly my fault but I am not exactly sure how to improve that.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why” – Eddie Cantor (1892-1964)
I have been at a running full speed ahead for the past 1.5 years and worry that I may never reach an end. As the GREs and grad apps start piling up, it hits me that since I have graduated from Berkeley at the end of 2007 and moved back to San Diego I never took one moment to enjoy the fact that I had graduated from college, never took that moment to enjoy my life. I have been on full speed ahead for so long that I forgot what it was like to not worry, to be careless, to not think. I was only jobless for a couple weeks and then back to the daily grind, barely anytime to even breathe. As my apprehensions and concerns about my future keep piling up, I am beginning to wonder do I have what it takes and when it gets to that time, will it be worth it.
||“The past empowers the present, and the sweeping footsteps leading to this present mark the pathways to the future. “
–Mary Catherine Bateson
I am a firm believer in that the people we meet and the experiences we have good or bad are integral to who we will eventually become. Each person that places their place in your heart will forever be there and the impression that they left you with will play a role in your opinion of others regardless the level of importance they played originally. This week was like a blast of old crushes and old friends past. Old friends popped up on the radar, one expected, and the others not so much. While originally I had thought what if I ever spoke/saw so and so what would happen, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease i felt in conversing with the same person that originally turned me into a shy puddle of teenage angst. This my friends is what I would like to call growing up. Long gone are the days of shit-talking, pointless fights, and all those wonderful drama things us teenagers are guilty of and welcome the talks of children, career, and so-called adult things. All this reminded me that as we grow up, our past shapes us and needs to happen in order for us to grow. Right now I am embarking on the beginning steps of the new phase in my life and what better way to begin this new phase than by having a welcomed revisit to the people and things that shaped past parts of my life. From the guy who whether he knew it or not played a big role in my teenage years and his brother who to this day i still consider my friend, to the first guy who caught my interest in college and became one of my dear friends, seeing/talking to them gave me a much needed reminder of the past I have lived and that its time to move on.