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.