My first semester of graduate school is in the books! I learned a lot academically, but more importantly, I learned a lot about myself this first semester. Getting thrown into a completely different environment than what you're used to forces you to discover more about yourself. With that being said, here are 7 things I learned about myself during my first semester of graduate school.
1. I picked the right profession- Coming from a family where both my parents are dentists and 80% of the rest of my family are doctors or nurses, I felt a lot of pressure growing up to be one of those. When I told people I wanted to be a Speech-Language Pathologist, I got a lot of weird looks and felt like I was disappointing people. My parents never forced dentistry or med school and I'm sure glad they didn't or I wouldn't have found this awesome field. There's so much versatility and different routes with this career and I fell more in love with it everyday this semester. This semester reassured me that I made the right decision.
2. I'm extremely extroverted- I always thought I was, but grad school really enforced this idea for me. I LOVE people and being around them. I HATE being alone. I constantly want to be around others, and love getting to hear people's stories. That's another reason why I'm so drawn to this field, because I love to talk and couldn't even imagine not being able to communicate with the world around me. Not to mention, I get to interact with people on a day to day basis.
3. Athletics really helped me-Everyday, I am more and more thankful for my time as a Division 1 Athlete. It really shaped and prepared me for my life today. I can't emphasize enough how much athletics helped me with my work ethic, the ability to thrive under pressure, and gave me life opportunities few other people get.
4. Surrounding myself with positive people is key to my success-The past few years I was surrounded by a lot of negativity. People would constantly complain around me and blame others for their shortcomings. And you don't realize what this does to you until you get out of it...You become like this too when you're in that environment. I was always the kid that worked hard to perform both on the field and in the classroom and I was not always surrounded by people who were willing to put in that same effort.
Yet they wanted the same results. Being in athletics you're constantly competing for playing time, awards, and accolades and people will try to bring you down,. I've been blessed with really good people at UofL and I am so thankful for them because not only are they great to be around, but they push me to be the best version of myself. We all want the same thing, we are all willing to help each other out and I absolutely love that.
5. If I want something I will do whatever it takes-Athletically I always went full heartedly into everything I did, however academically I didn't always. I realized this semester why. I got bored. I didn't like half the classes I took. I hated the general ed classes you're forced to take and if I didn't like a class, I checked out. I got some of the best grades I ever have and that's because I actually wanted this. I am paying for it now with a sinus and double ear infection but when I want something I will not stop until I get it.
6. I care A LOT about people- I used to care WAY too much about what people thought of me or I would put my all into a friendship/relationship to not even get half of it back. I remember this one time last year I literally broke down crying because I was angry that the Lord gave me a heart that cared way too much about others because I never saw it back. But this year, I've challenged myself, grown, and learned to channel this into a positive quality and I am so thankful God blessed me with the heart that he did. The world needs compassionate and empathetic people and I want to be that person for someone.
7. God is my rock- A year ago, I sat applying to 21 schools stressing out whether I'd get in or not, but God always had my back through it all. It was a tough time a year ago and I wouldn't have gotten through it without him. I didn't understand why certain things happened or why I lost certain people/friendships. But God brought me through it all. God's plan is always bigger than my own and he will never leave you during tough times. Sometimes you need to leave things and people behind to go where God is taking you. I've learned that I can't do anything without him and he is ALWAYS good.
While I learned a lot about myself this semester, these are the few that stood out to me. I can honestly say I'm the happiest I've been in a long time and I am grateful to be in the position that I am. Here's to 6 more semesters of grad school!