Filling the Gap

I scheduled a meeting with my graduate school advisor today. We were meeting to discuss my entering the doctoral program. The PhD always loomed in my future but I tried to convince myself I didn’t want to do it because it would be so time consuming. I didn’t want to miss out on life. But a tiny part of me has always missed the interesting things I learned in graduate school about my field. I bet if I ask anyone that has known me a long time, they would say I should be doing the PhD.

As I waited for my meeting to begin, I compared my current self to me twelve years ago. Back then, I was young and had no professional experience. I was desperately trying to figure out what to do with my life. Today, I strolled down the hall with ten + years of professional experience, trying to discern if I wanted more of this or none of this.

I had reservations about writing a dissertation but my advisor demystified it. She explained that when you’re immersed  in the current literature you will become aware of a gap and you will try to fill it. I do that all the time, that’s actually my favorite thing to do at work. It makes me think doing the PhD might be fun.

My advisor plucked a few dissertations from her bookshelf of students past and handed them to me to peruse. I flipped through the black, bound books with the golden embossed titles and scanned the double spaced pages. It didn’t seem that scary anymore. I could do that.

When I was trying to figure out what to do before, education led me down a path and filled the gap. The meeting was successful today, it helped me identify a new gap.


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