Next Steps in Life

I will, unfortunately, be graduating from my beloved alma mater in just 13 days. But all is not lost. My journey is not over. God willing, I will be earning a PhD at a very well-respected institution beginning this fall.

One of my recent reflections struck me as worthy of posting, simply because I think more people need to have this attitude: I don’t want to continue in classics because I think I’m good at it and want to keep being good at it. I want to continue in classics because I recognize how much I don’t know and how much skill I lack, and want to continue learning more and honing my skills. I don’t actually think I’m that good at it, to be honest. I just work hard and am passionate about it. Occasionally, I have half-decent ideas. Sometimes I make small discoveries that seem like magical occurrences. Even if it’s something that people have known for hundreds of years, it’s still new to me, and there is beauty in that.

There is immense pleasure in learning, far removed from whether I believe I’m good at what I do or not. There is pleasure in pursuing rabbit trails and making surprising discoveries. There is delight in being able to put in writing my discoveries, and make more connections. It is about passion for the subject, and not egoism or a desire to show off, or to be more well-read than another person.

The only thing about continuing into graduate school is that I will become hyper-specialized, and will have less time for my other interests. I am also a violinist, and maintaining a high level of fitness and technique takes hours every week that I will probably be unable to give. But I am not yet sure. Hopefully I can find things to do that will keep me playing and interested. I’m sure my other hobbies will suffer too, but I am less upset about those. I am sure this will be a very interesting year.

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