Be authentic. Do cool things that matter. Be happy.
These are the three criteria to finding a career you love, according to Rob Glander. As I get further and further into the black hole that is a chemistry PhD, I keep asking myself if this is what I want. I’m pretty good at evaluating my actions and motives, and that’s helped direct me. I chose graduate school because I don’t know what I want to do yet, and it makes sense to get paid to learn, because I love learning and I’m good at it when I apply myself. But graduate school is more than learning, it’s work, and that’s a new thing for me. Is this what I want?
From this event at Wofford called the Sophomore Experience, I took this online Strengths Quest and found that two of my top five strengths are belief and connectedness. This is not surprising, and it means that I believe that everything is connected and things happen for a reason, not random chance. I also feel a responsibility to do something significant with my life, and to leave some sort of mark in history (not for my own glory, but because I feel the responsibility to do so).
I haven’t decided how doing cool things that matter lines up with being a scientist, or if that’s what I even want. So I pray and think and evaluate how I feel about chemistry and graduate school and if I could be happy doing something else. And I think about art and Rice Bowls and living out of the country. I’m in graduate school right now, but I want to do cool things that matter. How do I make this happen?
The answer is that I don’t. I just pray. For graduate school and the future and for Grammy Hazzard who is having heart surgery today.