I am a doctoral candidate in cognitive developmental psychology with a passion for child development, mentoring, and color-coding. As the oldest of 3 siblings, I have spent the majority of my life mentoring and using my victories-as well as my mistakes-to help others navigate their own situations. I love it! It also helps that when I imagine a job posting for "Professional Mentor" I always think about how I have been training for this my entire life- thanks Mom & Dad!
The idea for GradLife Chic was born while sitting in a doctor's office after complications following eye surgery. I had a large tote bag packed full with my laptop, pile of articles, and library books as I was preparing my dissertation proposal. I sat there ruminating on how the delays related to the procedure were going to delay the draft I needed to have finished that day and was halfway to a full blown panic attack when I realized that I needed to get my priorities in order. At the rate I was going, neither my work nor my health were getting properly prioritized. I had considered taking a leave of absence at several points of my early graduate career as my chronic health issues were all exacerbated by the chronic stress of pursuing a Ph.D. Since I had just passed my qualifying exams a few months before, I decided it was finally the right moment to take a break from my work and focus on healing so that I can return to school with renewed energy and strength.
Despite experiencing setbacks in my research program because of those illnesses, I earned a National Science Foundation grant, successfully completed my master's thesis, and passed my qualifying exams in my first 3 years. People have often asked me how I maintain such an effervescent disposition despite having such health difficulties. Well let me tell you it is not as easy as I must be making it look. The short answer is phenomenal social support, amazing healthcare, mindfulness meditation, waterproof mascara, dance breaks, and a bright colorful workspace.
Interested in learning more details about stylishly surviving and thriving in graduate school? Curious about getting into graduate school? Already in graduate school and looking for a supportive ear? Then you are in the right place! Hopefully my tips and testimony will bless and motivate someone as we navigate this journey through the Ph.D. and beyond!