I’ve been back a week now from Manhattan, Kansas for my first summer residency, an integral part of the doctoral program at Kansas State University. It’s been hard to take time to reflect on my time there, for a few reasons. Primarily, I was so focused on preparing for the start of the fall term at Clemson that I didn’t give myself the time and space to reflect. Now that I’m back, the fall semester underway and courses off to a great start, I’ve had more time to really reflect on my first summer.
I didn’t know how much could be packed into two weeks – the amount of reading, thought-provoking conversations, new relationships, and fellowship with colleagues. I’m exhausted still, but thankful for the great first year experience I’ve had so far.
Meeting the members of my cohort, 6 other eager minds, has reaffirmed my decision to purse my doctorate. The vast differences in experience, research interest, and motivation for post-degree careers surprised me. Yet, we were able to come together within a matter of hours together and support each other in our own journeys of seeking knowledge, in seeking the answer to our various research questions. We’re already planning on weekly chats to continue supporting each other through our various journeys.
The summer residency really showed me that I don’t know what I don’t know. The amount of reading that’s required to produce a quality research paper is almost overwhelming. The amount of time a researcher will spend on a single topic, sometimes years, was something I really never considered. The feeling of excitement and enjoyment in pursuing a research topic was something I never thought about.
When I picked up a research article in the past, I enjoyed reading reading a diversity of topics. But I never really experienced the feeling of being pulled in, of being so consumed with the theories, constructs, and possible implications. I experienced this over my first summer residency while exploring the topic of language and its role in the development of financial skills. Learning more about social learning theory, how we’re essentially students of those around us and the impact family has on development of socialization (especially financial) skills.
I’m excited for the next few years – for the topics and methods I’ll learn, for the relationships I’ll continue, and for the questions I’ll attempt to answer in my own life as well as those around me. Like all journeys, I’m not quite certain where this one will take me, but I’m excited to have begun it and looking forward to finding out.