Crossroads Chit-chat, PhD Life

Aight baby, let’s do this. So this blog post is going to be a bit different from the standard whimsical brain garbage that I dump out onto the screen. Well… maybe it won’t, to be totally honest, but we’ll see. Today I’d like to talk about some crossroads, without getting super duper filled with cheese, because nobody likes cheese in large quantities. We’ll just keep it real.

At this point, I’m nearing what should be completion of my PhD track in Genetics. I’m in my fifth year, and barring any setbacks (which appear unlikely given the steady progress thus far), I’ll be heading out of the graduate student door sooner rather than later. So what does that mean for the future? … Who knows? Because I sure don’t. I guess I have somewhat of an idea in terms of career path, but if I were to tell you that I had everything mapped out from here, I’d be lying. I’ll probably do some sort of plant science research working toward sustainable agriculture, but even that isn’t a given.

For any other grad students in similar situations (that is, having gone to grad school away from home/family), it seems like there are a few different routes to take. A: Find a job back closer to family. B: Find a job relatively close to your grad school area/ professional network. C: Go somewhere new. For me, option C is looking sexier and sexier with each passing week.

I spent the first 22 years of my life in or nearby the greater Boston area [aside from a semester abroad during my third year of college]. My parents have owned the same home for my entire life, and I went to undergrad two hours away from my hometown. While I’ll always be tied to my roots, and strongly anchored by my family, I can’t shed this feeling that there is more to be explored. In the past four+ years, living as a UC grad student, I’ve been able to immerse myself within a new place and just ‘be’ for a while, letting myself marinate in this new atmosphere, meeting new people from various ethnic backgrounds, learning of different cultures and lifestyles. Overall the entire experience has been very enriching and quite awesome, and if you are contemplating graduate school far away from your home roots, I’d highly recommend it. With that said, now that this California grad student chapter is nearing a close, I find myself wondering, ‘What’s my next step?’ I had posed the same question to myself during my last year at undergrad, and so the question returns.

The last time around, I decided to move across the country, and it was absolutely the best decision I ever could have made. Aside from the funky cool genetics knowledge that I’ve gained, the mind-stimulating maize-microbe interaction project I’ve been working on, and the friends that I’ve met along the way, I’ve also dramatically upped my game on the bball court. Four additional years of balling on a college campus with young bloods [way more skilled than you are] can only help your game. We fly high, no lie, you know this… BALLIN!!!!! Anyway… Given the fact that it’s all worked out pretty nicely, it seems only logical to contemplate another move to a different and exciting new place, perhaps to work outside the U.S. for a bit and learn a new language of some sort. It’s a big world, and I’d be curious to learn a bit more about it while the time is right.

That’s all I really have in the noggin for now. For anybody that actually reads this, I’ll keep you updated with my thoughts and motivations moving forward. If anyone is on a similar train of thought, and needing to make a decision sooner or later about where to go next, feel free to share a comment here. Despite my 0 blog followers, maybe we can get some sort of dialogue going. Thanks for reading about my thoughts, and have a great evening. For that matter, have a great life wherever you end up going. Be thankful for those that love and support you, and do your best to live right by them and ensure that they know how much you truly love and appreciate them. Alrighty, I think that’s enough preaching for the evening. PEACE!!!!! 😀