Reflections of an Almost-Grad-Student

Grad school is an idea that, for much of my academic career, seemed like nothing more than a myth. It was that place where people who were both crazy smart and crazy disciplined went to become a master of something. I don’t think I even knew what a PhD was until I first applied to KU in the spring of 2014.

Now, it’s the only future I see for myself. I’m just about smack in the middle of my last year at KU, and I am finally starting to notice the blinding velocity with which my life is moving ever forward. For the first time, the classes I’ve taken at KU don’t appear as a gargantuan and unorganized blob. There’s a method somewhere in the madness.

Looking back, I see now how every single class that I have taken—yes, every single one—has been a stepping stone. Each one was a piece of the driftwood that came to be the raft I’m sailing into the future. When I first arrived in Kutztown over four years ago, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I liked history, so I stuck with that. I could never have imagined the sheer breadth of the incredible education I received in my time here. Not only do I have a direction—a path, a telos, a means to an end I never expected—but I have a way to bring that direction into a forward motion.

That is all because of the connections I have made at Kutztown. My professors, ardent advocates and champions and brilliant scholars each in their own right, have guided me (whether directly or through osmosis) towards the future I yearn to reach. My best friends, in all of their diverse experiences and personalities, have shaped me into the person I am. Together, they’ve given me validation; they’ve given me the belief that I am one of those people who can go to grad school and succeed.

So as I assemble my applications, write my statement of purpose, ask for letters of recommendation, and all the rest, I reflect back on my history here at Kutztown and am filled with contentedness and gratitude. I am about to finish up my second to last semester here at KU, and then it’ll be the last home stretch. Graduation is only six short months away and then three months after that, the next chapter of my life will begin. Wherever I go for grad school, one thing is for certain: if I could go back to the spring of 2014 and choose a different university than KU, with the knowledge I have now, I would never change it for anything in the world.

Here’s to six more months at the best school I could have ever hoped for, with the best people I have ever known.