la joie de vivre

From California to Lyon, France: living & studying abroad…and coming back!

Day 3 wrap-up

These days have been moving slow, but I think it’s because there are sooo many new people and things going on right now.

Yesterday was a good day! I got to talk to a friend who came back from abroad mid last year, and he gave me some tips for re-adjusting: 1) don’t look at pictures and 2) stay busy.

I met up with some familiar faces at the honors meeting, including one of my favorite professors. I’ve known this professor for the past four years: he was one of my first teachers back when I entered UCSB for the Freshman Summer Start Program (FSSP – an acronym that’s quite a trip-up for the tongue). I’m really glad I was able to stay in touch because it sure has been nice to have a mentor-like figure in my life throughout college.

And after talking to my professor and my dad, I’ve decided to reconsider graduate school applications. I’ve read so many horror stories (and sad, sad comics) about PhD programs and many graduate students recommend looking into different life paths unless one’s only desire is to become a professor. But the thing is, I’m 21, and I’ve lived my whole life in the “bubble” of academia.

And it’s not even a trial version of PhD and professorship – it’s on a different level. I don’t spend all my days researching, writing, and dealing with academic criticism. And I don’t know what that would really feel like until I was actually in that situation.

I mean, how can anyone?

But there are still lots of really enticing Master’s and PhD programs out there focusing on stuff that really gets my brain and my gut going. A lot of good Master’s programs offer a chance to try out the “real world” through internships: that’s one foot in the bubble, one foot out the bubble.

I think I will apply to a mix of programs. At this point in my life, I could see myself going in a multitude of directions after college. But I only have one life to live. So the real question is, what will my path be?

It feels like this nice bubble of undergraduate education will pop soon…and it will!

But I’m going to continue to do my best and remembering to sit back and relax every once in a while!

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2012 by in General.
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