Quick learning bits:
- Work and courses is definitely not always the same schedule.
- The researcher-in-training is still training outside of the training ground.
- Reading and writing is more than a relaxing hobby. It is ritualistic and necessary during break.
- Research is more than reading required textbooks. Research training includes required, recommended and rare gem texts that have just emerged in the field.
One of my favorite life lessons so far includes this mantra (or something like it): when something terrible happens, something beautiful always comes out of it. As many obstacles and setbacks I have faced before going back to school, I had learned a lot about people, places, and life.
The next lesson would be: don't feel guilty for seizing opportunities presented. I remember leaving my previous job and somebody at the office snapped about my anticipated departure when I was present and engaged in my work. Another co-worker made some other comment about how I was going off to better places. Even the supervisor, himself, casted a couple verbal stones. Apparently a 14 month notice for transitioning was either way too short or drawn out way too long. This leads to the next life lesson that is transferable to any employment situation: cut the cord cleanly and quickly.
As I have gained more work experience, I realized that quitting is not always bad. I remember growing up and my parents would always say, " Don't give up, Don't quit. QUITTING IS BAD!" I do have to give them a lot of credit since they were trying to give me some kind of motivation to persevere and hang tough. I have to admit, resigning from a position should not always be the first option to consider, but knowing when the conditions of the job are going one way (which is south) is extremely helpful for all parties involved. Of course there are strategies involved with this process. I would probably have to devote an entire blog post to the art of making a graceful exit.
On the other hand, being a quitter isn't the way to greatness. This may sound completely contradictory to the previous lesson, but sometimes when other opportunities (work, research, otherwise) have not presented themselves, the best strategy is to just stay put and hang on. And to keep believing that something will open up when the right timing occurs. Handling research projects is like climbing on a furious beast who is trying to throw me off. Chasing dreams and believing is extremely difficult. The glories of being a researcher is not the fame or the money. It is relishing the freedom to chase one's dreams.