Almost two years ago to the day, I was trying to get ready for a career fair at the University of Central Florida when my then-husband experienced a mental breakdown. That day ended with me in my mother’s car on the way home to Pensacola and my UCF career at a sudden end. While it was heartbreaking at the time to leave the life that I had been trying to build there, I knew leaving was the right thing to do for myself and for my daughter who was barely three months old at the time. I’ve been pretty lucky since then though. Luckily I was accepted as a transfer into the University of West Florida and got a job that allowed me to spend a lot of time with my daughter. I poured myself into my schoolwork and into making my life something my daughter and I could both be proud of. I’d say I’m well on my way. I’ve made a lot of progress academically and in my career. Over the last 2 years, I have:
- managed to get the best grades of my life in classes I’m actually interested in
- been a lab assistant for a year doing amazingly interesting research
- developed a passion for doing said research
- given my grandma the best 75th birthday present ever
- launched a fully-functional and actually really impressive website for my day job (check it out!)
- taught my toddler the alphabet in both American Sign Language and English
- graduated from UWF with a bachelor’s in Psychology
- read hundreds of academic articles
- interviewed for a PhD fellowship in my dream program
- more exciting things not quite on this level but still pretty cool
Now that another semester has started (post-baccalaureate this time!) I’m trying to keep up the upward swing, so I’m pouring all my mental energies into more lab work. I’m taking a class on Memory and Cognition, volunteering in the UWF Cognitive Development Lab 10 hours a week as the Lab Manager, and volunteering as a Research Assistant in the UWF Neurocognition Lab for 5 hours a week. I’m also still bound by capitalism to keep up my day job as the Shipping and Technology Manager for 30 hours a week. Oh, and I’m a separated parent. So I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, but I’m keeping on trucking on meeting my stated goals for the semester.
- Retake the GRE for a better Quantitative score.
- Complete “Programming for Everybody (Python)“, “Intro to Interactive Python Programming“, “Data Analysis and Statistical Inference“, “R Programming“, and a few other MOOCs not directly related to schoolwork
- Get my project on grit and academic success ready for SEPA 2016 (and/or RMPA 2016)
- Get a good grasp on basic EEG research and use (and other neuropsychological research methods)
- Read and annotate 100 more articles
- Potty-train my little one
I’m really excited to see what my goals will be for the semester two years from now! We’ll see.