Sunday, June 20, 2010

Confessions of a Forth-Year Doctoral Student: Persistence Pays Off!!

As I enter the LAST year of my PhD program and dive into my dissertation research, I am contemplating the future and reflecting on my past. One thing is certain, my persistence has paid off! When I entered this PhD program three years ago, I was eager to succeed and thought I could conquer the world. I soon found out that I had A LOT of learning to do. I'm still learning every day but through this program I've developed into a better writer, presenter, teacher, co-worker, and friend and the path to get here hasn't been easy.

This may be shocking to many of you, but school does NOT come easy to me. Throughout my years of schooling I never made the honor roll and I never won any academic awards. I've ALWAYS worked hard in school, studied hours and hours, yet I've struggled to get good grades.

Why do I share this? Because....many people who start their PhDs never finish them because its too hard. They give up because they cannot handle the constant critiques and feedback. Sure, I've had my share of challenges in this program, yet I keep going and I keep persisting. I wouldn't be like this if school had been easy for me. So if you're a student and you're feeling down and out and want to quit--DON'T! Keep going, keep persisting and things will turn around. I know this is corny to say but, if I can earn my PhD, you certainly can!!

Keep persisting!!


Activ8potential said...

I find this post to be--and you to be--Heather, both warm and straightforward. I agree that it is a persistence game. A recent research participant told me that he is always confident that with enough invested time and attention, learning will come. Enough learning to create a breakthrough, or at the least enough movement to reach the next rock to step on, as we cross the rushing river.

I look forward to your successful (and inspiring) defense!


Erin Nemenoff said...

Ugh, couldn't have said it better! Here's to one last year!

Alex Carter, Your Nonprofit Coach said...

Heather: Best of luck with phase 2 of the Ph.D. quest. Remember to keep your bottom in the chair, but also to get up and get away sometimes. This is where persistence trumps brains, and organization and small steps trump grandiose topics. Rock on!