First Quarter? Check.

Hi, everyone.

Has a month really gone by since I last wrote? Yikes. Grad school is busy, alright?

Now that the quarter is officially over, I would like to reflect on the quarter’s many growing moments, lessons, and endless, wonderful gifts. I’ve learned so, so much about myself as a student, a person, a friend, and a human, more than I can completely express. These lessons arose from challenges; interactions; experiences; encounters with different people, ideas, places, and methods than I’m accustomed; all of which on top of the course material I was assigned.

Here are the highlights:

I have so much to learn. This has rang true from the moment I got on a bus going in the wrong direction and ended up lost to the moment I had a conversation with someone about a specific museum-related topic on which my knowledge is extremely limited. My perspective has been so limited, due to geography, situation, and other circumstances that have prevented my even knowing that other perspectives existed. The realization of this alone has inspired me to know more, be more, experience more. I have to continue to grow and change to be the person the world needs me to be, and I am thankful for the upcoming quarters to allow me to continue to do this.

Sometimes people are growing mold on their souls, and there’s nothing you can do. Sometimes people make it their personal mission to be miserable and to make others miserable. These people are everywhere, and there’s little that can be done about that. However, what I’ve learned is that as long as you don’t let that mold grow on you, you remain unaffected. This is, certainly, easier said than done. I, myself, have struggled with this continually throughout not only these past few months but my whole life. Sometimes it is really difficult to keep your head clear of other peoples’ mold. But it’s important to try.

It is so important to take time for yourself. So many times during this quarter, I found myself overwhelmed with the responsibilities on my plate. Some of these had more immediate and pressing deadlines, and others, like internship applications and long-term projects, were not immediate but still looming. At any point, I could have been bogged down in the monotony; the seemingly endless cycle of papers, readings, and assignments; or the dreary weather. And, at times, I did. But, what I learned, what became the best way to cope with the overwhelming number of things in my iPhone calendar and planner, was to take a moment, as long as I could afford without causing worry, to do something for myself, something I enjoyed. Some days, this was just a simple run in the morning to clear my head or a trip to the gym. Others, it was going to get dinner from a restaurant I had walked by a million times but never tried, or a drink with a friend. Others, still, all I could manage to do was make myself a pot of tea, or eat breakfast while watching a TED talk or two (in order to help me out with my first lesson). These were my moments. These were my way to keep my head screwed on (at least a little bit!).

And, perhaps, the greatest lesson of them all: I am right where I need to be, doing what I need to do. While I still have a long way to go academically and professionally, at this very moment I feel I am learning what is necessary, not only for my academic and professional success, but also to be a better human in this life.

I cannot wait for what is to come. But, first, some relaxing days at home with family and friends for the holidays.

x. M



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