Over the years, I have become excellent at sizing people up both at a superficial level and at a intellectual level. I have to say my cohort is one of beauty and intelligence. There are five of us that will spend the next few years going through a Ph.D. program together. I hope that we can develop mutual trust for each other as well as respect for the strength of each individual. The age range for this group runs from 40 to middle twenties. Two of the girls are from China and the three others (me included) are from Florida basically.
In this group, I might be decent writer, but I believe this ability will definitely be challenged. The writing abilities within my cohort are extremely proficient. While I am comfortable with any discussion in my group, my greatest strength comes from my ability to think outside the box, and my ability to be creative. Some might say these are the same thing, but I don’t think they are. Just seeing a different perspective does not allow for originality. The research says that creative people do well in Ph.D. programs. Hopefully that will prove to be true.
Due to the high caliber of individuals in my cohort, I am so glad we are not competing against each other. Instead, we will be drawing off of each other’s strengths over the next few years (at least this is what I hope for) to complete a highly advanced program that will establish us as experts in our field of interest. I believe one reason for the collaborative atmosphere in my Ph.D. program originates from how the faculty treat each other in our department. They work together on projects and support each other with the highest of respects for each individual’s research. This fact makes me feel so lucky.
So am I afraid? No, I am not. I am anticipating the next few years to be filled with opportunities to grow and frienships with people I respect. I know there are wonderful people to help guide me through this process, and others that will be going through the same experiences with me. Sometimes knowing you are not alone keeps a person from being afraid even when they know the next year will be a challenge.