Thursday, August 19, 2010

ALWAYS stay True to YOURSELF No Matter What!

One of the most important things I learned during orientation as a graduate students was to stay true to myself. This entails not changing who I am to fit in with everything and everyone around me. Now this can happen both on an academic level and at a social level. As a graduate student professors will demand different things saying to you: do this, have you read this, have you thought of this or change this as you conduct research or write a paper. In addition, as a graduate student in a totally different environment, you can find yourself changing aspects of who you are to make friends or fit in with a certain group of people. It is very easy to get distracted in graduate school because of the constant advice that you receive from professors or advisors, but clearly stating what you want to do and how you would like to go about doing it will allow other people to work with you to get that done. The fact of the matter is if you stay true to who you are, the friends will come and the confidence that you have gained from knowing who you are inside and out will draw people to you who may then constitute as friends.

There is no reason to change who you are at graduate school to fit in. Friends and academic success will definitely follow because people will notice the confidence you have in yourself and in your work and will ultimately be drawn to that. Most importantly, the number one reason as to why you are in graduate school is to get a graduate degree. Its not about losing yourself. From my experience, people who change themselves are the ones who aren't confident in who they are or are individuals who do not have a solid circle of friends that they can depend on no matter what. Such people are often unhappy and chronic unhappiness in graduate school will make your time a lot more difficult than it has to be. Always remember to stay true to who you are no matter what!

I believe Shakespeare said it the best in Hamlet:
"This above all: to thine own self be true,/And it must follow, as the night the day,/Thou cans't not be false to any man "(ll.78-80).