End of the Semester Reflections

Do you ever take the time to pause from all of the “hustle and bustle” of graduate school to reflect on how far you’ve come? Reflecting can seem like a daunting task for some, because there are checklists that we can carry around in our heads regarding where we should be in terms of meeting our personal goals and aspirations. Nonetheless, reflecting can be used as a decompressing exercise that results in gratitude, if we choose to practice it regularly. When we are able to see how far we’ve come, we’re often grateful for where we’ve arrived to in the present.

I encourage graduate students and others in general to reflect often. Think about the conversations that you are having with people on a regular basis. What kinds of words and comments are you internalizing? Also, what kind of words and energy are your projecting onto other colleagues regarding your own self-concept and research? Words and thoughts are powerful. Grad students should develop the habit of reflecting in order to detox some of the self-doubt and external critiques of their work that come with being a professional student. Practicing reflection looks different for everyone. Some might like to journal their thoughts. Some might want to talk it out with a close friend or mentor. Some might reflect through creative expression and physical activity.

The point is, by the end of a 16 week semester, everyone needs to take a moment to reflect. Do it your own way, as it long as you prioritize it, and look for the light at the end of the tunnel.