If I’m gonna strike-out, I’m 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 it’s been quite a struggle. I don’t regret doing the change, but sometimes I feel like I am just treading water, barely keeping my head up. It’s been a rough semester. I’ve struggled with feeling like I am a failure or a fraud. I’ve struggled with feeling like I can’t go further, that I’m never going to make things work.
One of the things that’s 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 didn’t want to be here. But I’ve since moved on from that. The trouble isn’t that. The trouble is that I am behind in my area from not having had had the entry level classes yet. That doesn’t make me a failure. That just means I may need more time. It doesn’t 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 master’s or PhD track. I don’t get extra time for switching areas (and, by default projects). I have to pass my exams by March just like everyone else.
Maybe I won’t be able to get the exam points by March. But if I don’t, I’ll be damned if it’s because I wasn’t trying my hardest. I’m not going to be called out on strikes. I’ll go down swinging.
In addition, I have to keep telling myself that one bad performance doesn’t 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, doesn’t mean you should go and pop all of your tires.