As I reflect on my graduate school career I think, “wow! what a ride!”. There are many things I that I did well, many things that I did well enough, and many things that did not go so well. Here is a short reflection of my lessons learned from my perspective as a newly minted PhD. Much of this may change as I learn more, grow more, and stretch my academic prowess. For now, these are my lessons learned.
Grad School Lesson #1: Write the Rough Draft
Doctoral studies is all about research and writing. The writing is hard. The writing is hard because you are explaining things that have never been explained before. The writing is hard because you want it to be perfect. You want to share your thoughts, your theories, your findings. You want it to be perfectly clear, to move hearts and minds, to change the world. (Or at least move your advisor’s heart and change your status to ABD). Most likely, especially on the first try, it won’t. It will be rough. A rough draft. Write that rough draft anyway! You cannot get to the prolific, ground breaking, nobel peace prize winning draft until you stumble through that rough one.