You may be a floater if you find yourself in the transitional phase between undergraduate and graduate education. You may be a floater if you feel you are swimming through space with your new shiny BA or BS constantly wondering, “What next?”. For my floaters looking for guidance in entering graduate school, I speak to you now; what are your passions? What are your career and life goals? What are the virtues you will hold steadfast to when exploring your career, life, and self?
I have been asked these questions overtly and covertly by our Lab Lead, Dr. Acevedo, on multiple occasions since joining the Community-AID Lab. Quality mentorship and lab participation are the ingredients that generated the forward-thinking I needed to pursue a PhD program right for me. At age twenty-three, deciphering the research interests that you wish to build your career around is as daunting as it is exhilarating. The more I actively participated in personal development and exploring my interests, the less daunting this task became.
I spent my last semester at MSU studying abroad in Granada, Spain, and it was when I returned to the States that I discovered my newfound floater identity. Fortunately, I found work in Community Psychology research (a field I had never once heard of as an undergraduate student, go figure). The visions I now have of myself as a researcher were actualized through my lab mates whose goals, passions, and work ethic matched mine. When seeking self-discovery, never underestimate the power of putting your best foot forward toward new opportunity that aligns you with likeminded people. If you feel out of your comfort zone, you are probably in the right place.
From one floater to the next hoping to enter graduate school, I implore you: align your passions with your goals and always participate in work that is as rewarding as it is challenging. Best of luck!
Photo credit: http://secret-hipster.blogspot.com/2011/12/space-head.html