Finding one’s niche can be a daunting task. It certainly was for me. As a student who is much older than most of my cohort members AND close in age to many of our professors, I struggled to find my place here at Indiana University. Further complicating things, I commuted and work from about an hour away during the first year of my program.
In my second year, I moved to Bloomington and found my niche. I began to attend events held by student organizations such as Raising and Enhancing Awareness of Culture in Health (REACH), and the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA). I also embraced opportunities to get to know and work with our faculty. My dissertation work is so much more focused after integrating their input. I became an Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity. I joined a dissertation writing group (which accelerated my progress more than I could have ever dreamed).
The biggest lesson that I learned to be open to new opportunities and to just be myself.