I am an encourager. I want to encourage people to reach beyond their current boundaries. Dream big and go after the dream. Do it. If you don’t know what the dream is, then try out a few. You never know what you’ll find if you stay safely cocooned inside an easy world. Perhaps a better name would be an unchallenged world. I’m no longer sure if there are any easier worlds, although some must be easier than others. I digress.
As an encourager, I also encourage you to find a mentor. Someone who has taken a similar path that you are taking. Someone who is somewhat in the know. There are numerous reasons for this including previous experience, knowledge through this experience, awareness of huge holes you can fall into, and shoulders. Shoulders who will hold you up when staying upright appears to be impossible.
I didn’t do any of the above when I returned to graduate school. I jumped out into this unknown world by the seat of my pants and I have greatly expanded the amount of time it has taken me to get to the end of this goal. Had I found that person, I would have discovered many things much earlier. I would have discovered that I needed to file a GS2, or plan of study, by my 2nd semester. I am just know doing that and I’m two years past ending my classes. I would have found someone who would push me to get my thesis started and researched. It took me two years past classes to get that done. I would have found someone who could have educated me on the different instructors and who makes a great advisor and who is somewhat lacking in that ability.
This is akin to having a board of directors in a business. That is something we also neglected to do in our business. Having those other ears to bounce ideas off of, and to create an atmosphere of accountability, is invaluable. If any of you ever decide to return to graduate school, I will be delighted to assist you in the above processes. I’m sure each one is different but with the web-based instructions which all schools now have, it can’t be that different.
Find that supportive and experienced voice. This can make the difference between attaining or missing your goals.