There’s so much I wish I knew when embarking on this journey almost a year ago… The top 3 things I wish I knew were:
- The Importance of Being Gentle With Yourself
Pushing your boundaries and venturing into new territory is never easy, especially in graduate school. The path to academic success isn’t always the clear pavement road we envision; sometimes it’s smooth, in some places it’s bumpy, and occasionally you may make a wrong turn. Instead of doubting yourself and your abilities (imposter syndrome)– be gentle with yourself.
– Intentionally and routinely practice self-care.
-Stay connected to your source. (My source = Jesus)
– Give yourself grace and space to learn and grow as you go forward.
- Find Your Tribe
The Academy can be a lonely place, particularly for women of color. Not only are you isolated from family and friends, but often we are one of a few, if not the only in our programs. I wish I knew earlier to regularly seek solace and emotional support from my tribe back home, and to branch outside of my program and build relationships with others I can relate to. During my first semester at UGA last summer, I participated in a focus group for a Graduate Student of Color mentoring program which was fully implemented last fall. Joining this group, finding mentors and sponsors in several black faculty members, and traveling abroad to Ghana with a group of phenomenal black graduate students allowed me to find the community I needed and could rely on during challenging times. Find your tribe and support each other fiercely.
- Trust the Process
Life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to, and every experience is shaping you and positioning you for your next set of experiences. Let it…
My Mantra: “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment” –Oprah