This blog comes to you from the window seat of a United Airways' plane, where in five hours time, I will be arriving in Portland, Oregon, the city that has always been my home only since leaving for my studies in Williamsburg. Home…though I’ve referenced this city as such countless times before, never has that word carried the clarity it does now.
My first year complete in a rigorous PhD program and I can say with certainty that my education at the College of William and Mary, has been nothing short of amazing. Aside from learning about theories on development and supervision, research methodologies and insights into the world of academia, so too has my education been enriched in non-scholastic areas, such as living in a place completely unfamiliar to me, making a new family, through cohort members and faculty and in short, learning how to make a “new” home. And so after a year of adjusting to the many rigors of coursework and day-to-day demands, now before me lies my “return” to what has been for all my life, routine and familiar. Yet I can’t help but wonder how unfamiliar it all will be. To summarize Thomas Wolfe, "you can't go back home..."
How much have my little cousins grown? Will I still be able to relate to old friends? Will anyone ever really understand how much I’ve learned and grown?
If there’s nothing else that has come to be a mantra this first year in, it’s been an almost crazy dependence on trusting the process. Though you would likely never find it written in any textbook or research publication, life as a doctoral student requires a certain willingness to embrace the unknown and an almost stupefying belief that everything will work out for the best. And so, as I sit here, I employ yet another lesson learned from my time at William and Mary and regardless of what “home” holds, I keep in my back pocket, that everything will work out for the best. It has so far…
Goodbye for now William and Mary.