October 13, 2014
Though I am half way into my first semester as a PhD student. I am still trying to figure out out my new identity. I was told before I started this journey that I will lose friends and my relationships will disintegrate but I never thought it would ever happen to me.
The biggest struggle for me would have to be that I am at the same institution that I was at for undergrad. There were so many activities and organizations that I was apart of that contributed to my identity but now all that has changed. The largest one would have to be running track. Since I have been a freshman in high school track has always been a major deal in my life. Between practicing, having injuries, traveling, bonding with my teammates, and learning life lessons from my coaches, track was something that enticed me.
Track was an anchored structure in my life. All activities I did were based on my track schedule. There were times I would stay up late to do homework and the fear that I would miss practice if i went to sleep too late encouraged me to pull all-nighters. Times when I would not go out to a party with my “normie(non-athletes)” friends because I knew I would have a hard practice the next morning. Track encouraged so many positive things in my life. It got me to be more mindful about my diet since it reflects my performance, teaching me that I could push my body to new limits beyond my wildest dreams.
Being apart of something that you actually enjoy for 8 years is an amazing commitment. The hardest part is letting it go; but here’s the kicker, you don’t have to! I’m learning how to redefine what running is to me. I would relate this transition to moving to the other side of the country, away from your best friend. No, you won’t be able to see each other every day nor call every other week like you used to. However, it’s a mutual understanding; you can pick up the phone and talk for hours like the old days. That’s the type of relationship that I am learning to be okay with. It’s definitely a struggle at first, but it’s comforting to know that it’s always there for you when you need it.
I suppose redefining what these things mean in your life is a large part of this PhD journey. With new goals, come new commitments and with new commitments, come new relationships.
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