I’ve never considered patience a strong suit of mine. In fact, in my corporate career, I’ve been applauded for being the “get things done” person. So when I heard a story of the amount of fortitude Mother Teresa dealt with, with years of asking to go to India and being refused over and over again, I couldn’t relate.
Now, as a doctoral student, working through the bureaucracy and red tape and constant rejection of the dissertation process… I’m feeling her pain. By no way am I feeling it to the same level she did, but I now get an inkling, at least.
A dissertation chair from another collage consoled me, telling me (I’m paraphrasing) that completing a PhD really is more a mark of perseverance than genius. I’m definitely feeling it!
On the bright side, being willing to persevere through so many challenges is a new experience. Often, in my personal business, since I do tend to focus on getting the end-goal accomplished, if one path isn’t working, I tend to look for other avenues or projects rather than continuing to persevere through an obstacle. So this forced perserverance (hey, 100K in student loans is strong motvation to get the certificate that validates that bill!) is a unique learning opportunity and life experience for me.
If I didn’t have student loans, I wonder if I would be so ready to persevere or if I would have given up and scrapped it? It would be interested to review and compare studies on graduation completion rates for students with and without student loans to see if having debt increases, or decreases the likelihood of completing a degree? I know I personally find value in having “some skin in the game” with money on the line pending my completion. Of course, I would still rather have the government institute a loan forgiveness program and wipe out this stressful accumulation of debt, of course. But while it exists, it encourages me to press on, through scholastic hassles, to complete my degree.