Every Monday morning, my work week begins the way I always dreamed it would, with chalk hitting the chalk board as I pace in front of thirty something young minds who were befuddled by the reading assignment I gave them over the weekend. Teaching at the university level is not only my dream job; it is also my real life job!
As an undergraduate and now graduate student, I’ve attended three institutions of higher learning in the last six years. Very little about my life has remained the same.
How in the world, you ask, could you be expected to be grateful for the illness-inducing amount of stress and expectations that graduate school is presently forcing upon you?
If there’s any time of your first year in the program that you’ve felt downtrodden, at your wit’s end, and out of hope, I’d imagine it’s this time. And the temptation is to think in these tenuous moments that this is where Jesus won’t come through for you . . .
Dear New Graduate Student, I don’t know you. And yet today, I think about you and pray for you. The academic world is small and mobile enough that there’s a good chance we’ll be on the same campus at some point in our lifetimes, and yet this letter is probably the only chance I’ll be able to speak these words to you.