Hello! Here is a Facebook memory that I thought I would share. It was written on August 11, 2019, after a year of being in the doctoral program. This past March I decided to take a leave of absence, again (details included in the memory). This time it was the uncertainty of COVID-19 that had me stressed. I just could not focus on school. So I decided to take a year off. As I did last time, I have questioned myself about my reasons for pursuing this degree. Is it something I truly want? Glad I have a few more months to decide. Then we shall see what happens.
Here’s the memory (unedited):
Good Morning! No social media find this morning. I just feel like sharing.
Today’s the last official day of class. It’s been a year that I’ve been in the DrPH program. I’m not sure why I thought it would be easy. I’m still puzzled about that initial phone interview with my advisor. I was just so chipper. Why???🙄 I work at a university. I’ve seem so many students struggle through their doctoral program. Yet, somehow I thought things would be different for me. What was wrong with me?😩
A few days ago I finally really looked at my degree plan. Yeah, I never really reviewed it. I just started taking classes and going with the flow. When I saw how many hours I had left, my heart sank. The thought crossed my mind, “Will I ever have a life?” Y’all, this program is about to consume ALL of my time. I’m not going to lie, so far I haven’t been disciplined at all. I started off really disciplined. Had everything scheduled down to my “Tyler Perry Tuesdays” tweet time. Yeah, one hour to watch and tweet during the show and 1/2 hour afterwards to reply to tweets. I was serious. Then, life happened. It’s amazing how one little thing can shake you and your whole system crumbles.
I began to realize I used social media as a way of coping with the things happening around me. Whenever I wanted to get away, I would log on and mindlessly scroll down my timeline. Social media is a great distractor when you don’t want to deal with reality. At the time, I was going through the divorce. Somehow, in my little mind, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it wasn’t. Also, things at work were becoming stressful. It was just a lot. Then, on top of that, I had school. I had to post and respond to discussions every week. Honestly, it was all taking a toll on me. I finally realized I couldn’t take anymore and sat out the spring term.
During my break, I did a lot of soul searching. Was this program for me? Could I fulfill my purpose without the degree? Was my purpose even worth the struggle? Why couldn’t I just let everything go and just enjoy life like everyone else? I mean, I’ve already retired from the military. I’m sort helping my community through my research projects. Why not sit back and enjoy life? Why do I always have to make things harder for myself? Well, because that’s exactly what I do. I love a challenge. Something inside of me, no matter how hard I try to fight it, wants the adventure. So, when my advisor called me before the summer term began, and asked me if I was returning to school, I confidently told him I was going to finish the program.🤦🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️
So, here I am. This time I’m really serious about being more disciplined. I’m trying to narrow down my use of social media to things that will help me along this journey. I’ve discovered that the Twitter accounts I follow on my ResearchDiva site reflect were I’m going (UN in Geneva☺️). I’ve been able to use some of the information I’ve come across for my discussions and assignments. My Mississippi Thriving IG makes me feel like I’m still supporting my community. My blog, It’s Shaun’s World, gives me an outlet for sharing my random thoughts. And this page… y’all make everything worth it. I love logging on and seeing your smiling faces. Y’all keep me grounded.
I know this was long. I needed to get it out. So, if I miss posting a few social media finds, or showing you love, it’s not because I don’t care, I’m just trying to stay focused.
I love y’all!
Thanks for reading!