Grad Life

8000 Miles Away – Walking Left to Walking Right(Life of a graduate student) #3

I wrote a mini blog back in March about how I feel success gives us confidence. It’s only natural to feel demotivated and discouraged when things don’t seem to go your way. But the harsh truth of life is that you don’t get to experience major successes frequently and probably that is what helps you value them more. But at the same time, you have to find out ways to keep yourself motivated. You have to look for minuscule wins and appreciate the ordinary things to derive energy from. It could be as basic as, spending time with your friends, exploring new places and culture, or fixing the silliest of the bugs in your code.

This month has been a roller coaster ride of experiences. Went through some internship rejection letters, explored Boston and Glassboro, pulled in a couple of all-nighters, and had a really memorable week in Florida.

  • Build Resilience
    If you plan to get into industry instead of academia after grad school, your internship search starts on day one, or even before. Needless to say, this comes with its share of rejections, even when everything in your sight goes as planned. Staying optimistic at such times is painfully hard — but it’s something that you have to do. In an academic environment where you’re working on multiple projects, and constantly searching for new opportunities, failures are bound to happen. There will be days when everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. But you should remember that it’s all going to be fine and it will all make sense in the big picture. You only need one moment to change things around for you and you should keep working towards that moment. See each setback as a challenge to grow both your self-understanding and your ability to bounce back and deal with disappointment. So make a point of staying constructive, and do all you can to learn from the experience to help you get ready for the next opportunity. I know it sounds philosophical but I hope this gives you the motivation to work towards your goal.
  • Prioritization is the key
    There’s so much to be done every day here – assignments, networking, finals, presentations, job search. I feel one of the things college makes you really good at is prioritization. Task Management tools, Notion, Excel, Reminders have become my best friends. I would suggest always keep updating your ToDo list. If you work better with software tools I would suggest using Notion. If you like physical reminders better, always carry sticky notes with you and keep adding/updating the tasks you have. Not all things need your immediate attention, so prioritize the ones that do. With prioritization also comes making some sacrifices. One of the mistakes I made at the start of the term was trying to get it all done in one day. But with time, I realized how much of a luxury it is to go through the process of cooking my favorite meals, watching movies, being active on social media. So, my will to learn and excel in my career took precedence over my leisurely activities. And to be honest, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. As the saying goes, you can’t make time, only sacrifices. I feel prioritization makes you more adaptable, which is never a nad quality.
  • Show Your Apperception
    One thing I am extremely grateful for is the love and kindness I have received from people around me. I had written more about this in an issue of my newsletter. We all need each other. So why shouldn’t we all be a little kinder to each other and appreciate all those around us?

I want to end this article with this beautiful quote I came across and of course some pictures.

Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together, and do so with all your heart.

Marcus Aurelius
North Park Moosilauke Dinner
I gave in to my Dosa craving in New Jersey
Boston
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