So today I went to one of the workshops set up by the AGEP program. We had a guest speaker (the dean of graduate studies) who spoke to us about graduate school and everything associated with it. Mainly he focused on his experience and how he had ended up as a PhD student. It was amazing to hear that someone of that stature had exactly the same doubts as I do. He said his main fear entering the program was that he wasn't going to measure up. He came from a small school and wasn't sure whether he was "good enough". It is my story!
He spoke about picking your mentor, you know...not to focus on personality, speak to other graduate students, make sure you know where his past students have gone....and then he said that you weren't really expected to know what you want to do, and that you should keep your mind open to other things. He said that when he went into grad school he knew he liked Physics..and that's about it. He landed in a lab by pure luck. Isn't this contradictory to what we go through when we apply to schools? I mean, when I was an undergrad I worked in a lab at UCLA and I distinctly remember telling them that I wanted to study something under the behavioral ecology umbrella...and their response to that was that this was too vague. I needed to pinpoint what I really wanted to do before I applied. So all of these years I have been struggling in deciding what it is I really want to study....but I am interested in everything. Apparently I was mislead. In fact I personally know an undergrad who didn't even want to go to grad school, but nonchalantly ended up applying to schools...since she didn't know what else she was going to do, and ended up attending Yale. She had NO CLUE what she wanted to study..or at least that's what I gathered. It just doesn't seem fair. I've been wanting to attend graduate school since I can remember, and here I am struggling everyday trying to feel like I deserve to be here...when all this time I have been working towards this. I guess I should be content with the fact that I am actually here.