As a child, I remember asking my mother repeatedly – When will I be an adult? I was so much looking forward to crossing a threshold and being the one who could know the things and do the things and be in charge. Honestly, I’m still waiting for the lights and ceremony to induct me into the adult world. (It doesn’t work that way, I know.)
Being a parent especially taught me that the reason I’m in charge is because someone has to be. I do so even when I don’t know enough or have it all figured out.
As a doctoral student, you are going to have to step up and step out. Propose an idea. Speak up in class. Create a journal club. Write a grant. Disagree with your chair. Do it even if you haven’t read every paper on the subject 5 times. There isn’t going to be a tap on the shoulder that says you are ready. It’s not just about faking it until you make it. I bet you know more than you think. And honestly, there is a lot more “winging it” going on all around you than you realize.
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to do the things, step by step, is an unwritten requirement of getting a doctoral degree. It is also what the world needs.
Happy back to school everyone!