If Only I Had Known

With classes now fully in motion and the reality of papers to write, hundreds of pages to read, and clearly not enough hours in the day (or night) to cross everything off your “To Do” list, you might be wondering, “Am I cut out for this?”

In those hours of feeling totally overwhelmed, and questioning your sanity, know that you are not alone and that the wisdom of those who have traveled this path before you might lend a sense of ease, moments of hope, and the clarity to carry on.

If only I had known I would have…

  • taken advantage of campus resources before I needed them.
  • attended everything that the Writing Center had to offer to support my writing.
  • gotten comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
  • pursued more opportunities outside of my academic work.
  • visited the Graduate Student Lounge in the Student Union.
  • gotten out of my building…ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s oblivion.
  • noted the patterns in what I was complaining about and then I would have DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
  • recognized that my self-confidence would likely be shaken somewhere along the way.
  • re-framed, “I have no time,” and restated it as, “I am choosing not to make time.”
  • continuously explored options for employment instead of waiting until I was nearly done with my studies.
  • spent more time with my family.
  • asked more people to be part of my network.
  • prepared to improve my reading efficiency.
  • not expected my advisor to spend a ton of time with me.
  • focused on perseverance and not perfectionism.
  • realized that I am my own worst critic.
  • permitted myself to have more fun, yes, fun.

“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance.”

~Gian Carlo Menotti~

By Kay Kimball Gruder
Kay Kimball Gruder Assistant Director, Graduate Student & Postdoc Career Programs and Services | Pronouns: she/her/hers