If Iím gonna strike-out, Iím gonna go down swinging
Thursday, October 17, 2013
For those of us who are baseball fans or players, we know that one of the worst feelings in the game is to go down on a called third strike.
Well, in my graduate program, I am at a tough road. I switched areas within my discipline, and itís been quite a struggle. I donít regret doing the change, but sometimes I feel like I am just treading water, barely keeping my head up. Itís been a rough semester. Iíve struggled with feeling like I am a failure or a fraud. Iíve struggled with feeling like I canít go further, that Iím never going to make things work.
One of the things thatís been helping me lately is finding the root cause of my struggles. There was a time a couple of weeks ago that I thought perhaps the trouble was that I didnít want to be here. But Iíve since moved on from that. The trouble isnít that. The trouble is that I am behind in my area from not having had had the entry level classes yet. That doesnít make me a failure. That just means I may need more time. It doesnít mean that I am not capable of learning the material.
The reason I feel so pressured is because I this year of my program decides whether I am on the masterís or PhD track. I donít get extra time for switching areas (and, by default projects). I have to pass my exams by March just like everyone else.
Maybe I wonít be able to get the exam points by March. But if I donít, Iíll be damned if itís because I wasnít trying my hardest. Iím not going to be called out on strikes. Iíll go down swinging.
In addition, I have to keep telling myself that one bad performance doesnít equal a lifetime of bad performances. Even some of the best players in the game have bad games. Heck, a good batting average means that the player only hits it 1/3 of the time! Just because you get one flat tire, doesnít mean you should go and pop all of your tires.