Over the past two weeks I have been struck repeatedly by the importance of the people I choose to surround myself with so I'd like to share those brief thoughts. Working toward a Ph.D. is a very challenging process - as it should be! If I had to do this completely alone I think it would be nearly impossible.
I am grateful for family, near and far, who check on me. They do not judge or guilt or nag (often). They just want to be supportive and know I'm ok.
I am grateful for friends, near and far, who lift me up and text me "thinking about you" messages on days they know I'm especially challenged. And I am grateful for friends who are in similar school/career situations as me that get where I'm coming from as well as friends who are in totally different places from me and listen to me & support me even if they don't always understand me.
I am grateful for professors and mentors. I have professors in my life who will talk me through problems, write recommendation letters for me, advise me to take opportunities, introduce me to important people I need to know, critique me when I need to be better, and ask *how I am* as a person not just as a student or assistant.
I am so grateful. I write this partly to say "thank you" to all these people in my life. You know who you are! And hopefully I've said "thank you" in person recently too. :-) I also write this to A) encourage others to be nice to those around them. A "thinking about you" text can go a long way! And B) to encourage others to surround themselves with supportive, loving, smart people. It may be the best decision you ever make as you forge ahead in life through challenging, and exciting, adventures. :-)