Trust the Process.
This is the motto that has stuck by my side through the hardest of times. I wish that I could say the end of my hard times in academia are near, but that moment barely seems to be getting any closer. It is easy for me to fall into the trap of knocking myself for not being the prototypical 22-year-old graduate making money in the corporate world. More now than ever, I just need to trust the process.
I am 24 now and I do not know when I will graduate, but I will! I have struggled for a long time to believe this, and a lot of that self-doubt is attributed to my history of failing math classes throughout high school and college. However, rewriting my narrative and therapy are powerful tools that have helped me get back up after being knocked down countless times. I used to be ashamed to reveal my history of struggling with math, even to this day I sometimes find myself falling back on that narrative. It has been a pleasant surprise for me for people to find my story inspiring. People are often in disbelief knowing I am a math major and finding out I have not given this path up despite all the years of setbacks I have encountered.
It always makes me smile when I can help someone with math and they tell me, “yeah, I’m just not a math person,” and they look at me in disbelief as I tell them I am the same way, and that I have a track record to prove it!
My progress towards my bachelors degree has felt awfully slow recently. Every hard-fought quarter and only ending up with a D or a C hurts. Six years into this process, and I feel as if I should have it all figured out by now. For years, every essence of my soul was fixed on coming back to UC Davis and thriving in this environment to validate my worth as a student. Starting at a new school in the middle of a pandemic was not what I envisioned, but it did teach me something. I did not need a new school to validate myself, I am the same person I always have been. I have picked up a lot of knowledgeable gems on the way here, but I have been capable and worthy the whole time. Without recognizing this, it is easy to fall prey to any perpetuated narratives that tries to push me out of academia or make me feel like I am not good enough to be here.
I can choose to see all my experiences as failures, or opportunities to learn and grow from. I know many of my “failures” are yet to come, “failures” so big they might discourage others from continuing, but I have been pushed to the bottom and counted out my whole life, there is nowhere to go from here but up! The logistics and timeline of getting my bachelors might not yet be evident, but I must let go and have unwavering faith that I will get there. I need to trust the process.
For my readers:
What motto has resonated with you along your journey and why? (In a more fun way to say this, what motto would you tattoo on yourself and why?)