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In this guest post, Gabrielle Pointon, M.S., Psychology Intern at the University Counseling Center, addresses the importance of self-care for graduate students. 

Self-Care. It’s an infamous word that you all have probably heard, but often ignore because of how impossible it seems. You don’t have the time. You don’t have the energy. There are more important things to do. I urge you to really think about this concept of self-care. As you are reading this, how are you feeling? Run down? Burnt out? Sleep deprived? Graduate school is a prime period in your life to feel this way because you have so much to accomplish in such a small amount of time. You probably even feel guilty when you take time for yourself because you could be doing something “more productive.”

This outlook has led to an epidemic, a crisis if you so choose, in the mental health of graduate students. You all have a lot of pressure on your shoulders, and this pressure leads to isolation and feelings of inadequacy. To make it even more difficult, you are in the minority in terms of educational achievement, so most of the people outside of your academic circle cannot even comprehend the stress you are under or the work you are trying to complete. If you are still in graduate school, you’re winning, but that doesn’t mean you don’t feel like you’re drowning at the same time. This is why graduate students have been found to be SIX TIMES more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the general population.

So, why is self-care important? Part of the reason is because students with a good work-life balance have significantly better mental health outcomes. This means making sure you take care of your basic needs, such as getting adequate nutrition and sleep, is important, but it’s more than just that. It’s taking a break and recharging too. It is essential that you are trying to disconnect from school by having a set time each day to find a little piece of comfort and joy. Self-care looks different for each person, so this could consist of social time, meditation, exercising, engaging in a hobby, etc. If you feel guilty about even the idea of taking breaks, remember that research demonstrates breaks lead to more productivity in the long run.

The take away here is this: make self-care just as much a priority as your work. Some days you’ll have hours and some days you’ll merely have minutes, but your mental health is dependent on these types of choices. Let’s make your graduate career a positive one to look back upon!

How can we, as a community of graduate students, prioritize self-care in our daily lives? What are your favorite strategies for practicing self-care? Leave a comment below!

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The Control Group playing in the Biology grad Halloween party.

In this guest post, Elvin E. Morales Pérez, Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences, shares his favorite places to enjoy live music in South Bend.

Hailing from a small agricultural town in Puerto Rico, finding entertaining music-related events that didn’t involve Salsa or Reggaeton was a bit of an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting my dance on every so often, but musical variety is an important part of a growing young man’s education. Once I moved to South Bend, however, I was very pleasantly surprised. “The Bend,” as it is more commonly known to the “Youths,” is the biggest city I have ever lived in (sad, I know) and as such, I wanted to explore everything it had to offer. It was during this process that I came to discover a very active, vibrant, and above all varied music scene in the city. Live bands, open mics, dance events, random/slightly obscure/underground house shows (like that time my band The Control Group, played an acoustic show in my garageshameless plug), and even cool roaming DJs spinning vintage vinyl from the back of a VW van (actual thing, not kidding), South Bend is just full of various things that anyone from professional or aspiring musicians to even regular music lovers would enjoy.

For all of those interested in the occasional piece of live entertainment or for those of you looking to share your musical talents with the rest of the world, I know a couple of places that you might be interested in:

 

  • Fiddler’s Hearth: South Bend’s very own local Irish pub is one of the most important musical focal points in the city with live musical events sometimes every day of the week. There is Open Irish Music Session on Mondays, Old Timey Music Sessions on Tuesdays, Acoustic Open Stage on Wednesdays, where you can play or enjoy shows by local bands playing anything from Irish folk songs to sweet, sweet funk music during the weekends. Fiddler’s is definitely a place where you’ll have a good time with some good food.

 

  • Vegetable Buddies: Veggie buddies is a place full of South Bend musical history. A musical hub in the city during the late 70’s, this prominent musical venue — which hosted some of the greats in jazz, blues, bluegrass, and Woodstock-era rock and roll — returned to South Bend in the last few years and has kept that tradition going strong. On Fridays and Saturdays, Veggie Buddies hosts artists from all over, which sometimes even open the stage for local musicians to play with them, so if you’re interested in some cool music with some good atmosphere check it out. (They also have Latin Dance Nights on Wednesdays if you want to get your groove on; variety man, wonderful stuff).

 

  • LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern: Although a little bit difficult to get to, involving a trek through the alleyway next to the building, and going up the back stairwell to the third floor (makes you feel kind of cool actually), the LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern is one of my favorite places in South Bend. Good food, good atmosphere, and above all, really cool music shows, with bands and solo artists playing most Fridays and Saturdays. One time, I heard a Spanish rock band playing which ended up hitting right in the feels, mainly because I was one of the few that actually understood the language that night, but it was still amazing.

 

  • Lang Lab: When you first look at Lang Lab from the outside you may think “this place looks like an old warehouse.” Well, the reason why this is the first thing that pops into people’s minds is that it is a warehouse, or much rather, it used to be. The owners converted the 33,000 sq. ft. building into a multi-use cultural and educational facility that hosts several local businesses (one of them a coffee shop, yay!), as well as many theater groups and musical artists. Additionally, it has its very own gallery, displaying pieces from various local artists.

 

Aside from the various places I mentioned, there are also a lot of city-wide musical events like the Riverlights Music Festival, a two-day event which takes place every summer and includes over 50 local musicians playing only original music. Remember, these are only a couple of suggestions to get you going, there are still many places and events around “The Bend” that space constraints and a lack of literary wit prevent me from telling you about. Go out, explore, and start making fun, new experiences involving awesome, weird, and funky fresh sounds.

P.S. In the next installment of “Elvin kind of talks about music stuff” I’ll talk about places where the more adventurous but not-as-musically-oriented people might want to try their luck: Karaoke bars… (*ominous thunder sounds*)

Do you have any questions about living in South Bend? Ask the Salmon! Submit your questions to gradlife@nd.edu or go to the Ask a Question tab at the top of this page.

 

 

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If there is one book I wish I read at the beginning of my graduate studies it is Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks by Wendy Laura Belcher. Although Belcher provides a detailed plan for completing and submitting an academic article, she also offers honest, useful, and more importantly, realistic advice which is applicable for other sorts of writing such as seminar papers, notes for comprehensive exams, dissertations, and even creative endeavors. Belcher acknowledges that scientific writing generally has other parameters, so she mainly addresses scholars in fields such as the Humanities and the Social Sciences.

Here are some of my favorite suggestions from the book:

  • Identify your feelings about writing.
    • Are you experiencing guilt, fear of failure, impostor syndrome? It is actually very common to have negative feelings about writing. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and even talk about them rather than repress them.
  • Prepare a realistic writing schedule.
    • Work on a writing schedule and anticipate weeks when you might not be able to write.
    • Pick a time of day that works with your other responsibilities and habits. Consider if you are a morning or an evening person before deciding on the best time to write.
    • If you cannot write at the same time every day, try to come up with a regular pattern for your schedule.
  • Make writing social.
    • Writing does not require isolation. In fact, it should be done in community. Join a writing group or attend a writing class. A good conversation about your manuscript will help you think further about your argument and will teach you how to respond to feedback and criticism.
  • Write every day.
  • Do not wait to write. Do not wait for:
    • Inspiration
    • The last minute
    • Big blocks of time.
  • Do not wait until all of your research is done to start writing.
    • It is not possible to read every book which might be related to our topic.
    • Start writing and this will help you determine what information you actually need.
    • Leave holes in your manuscript. These can be filled up later.
    • Approach writing and thinking as simultaneous tasks.
  • Persist!
    • Rejection is common, do not take it as a measure of your worth. The best writers get rejections as well, but they persist.  

Overall, Belcher’s book encourages graduates students to persevere, even when we feel we do not have the time to write. She also offers practical solutions to common internal and external obstacles. If you would like to know more about her approach or if you are interested in following her 12-week plan, you can find her book at the Hesburgh Library. (The Spanish edition is also available for online access).

Did you enjoy Belcher’s book? Do you have any more questions about it? Ask the Salmon! Submit your questions to gradlife@nd.edu or go to the Ask a Question tab at the top of this page.

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Biking Around Notre Dame

In this special guest post, Jessica Schiltz a Graduate Orientation Ambassador, breaks down the bike options for getting to all the best places. 

The beauty of our campus is undeniable, with the sprawling quads, carefully lined flower beds and the grassy expanses, artfully lined with paved sidewalks. The winding paths and acres of lawns and landscaping are however, less than desirable when you need to get somewhere fast. The University of Notre Dame is approximately 2mi2 and navigating on- and off-campus can be time-consuming.

In order to optimize your daily routes consider acquiring a bicycle. Purchase options are always available at the wholesale retailers in Mishawaka, but if you’re looking for a deal that isn’t in a store, or on Craigslist, every year Fischer O’Hara Grace (Graduate Student Housing) hosts a bicycle raffle at the start of fall semester. Not sure if you need a bike right away? No problem, Notre Dame hosts an Old2Gold sale that includes donated campus bicycles. (Side note: graduate students who work year-round should remember to visit ND Security Police (NDSP) in Hammes Mowbray Hall in May to pick up a summer tag for their bike, so that your bike doesn’t get removed during this annual clearing!) You can also hunt for deals at the annual spring Bicycle Swap through the Bike Michiana Coalition, where you can haggle for mountain, road, and cruiser variants.

It is highly recommended that you register the ownership of your current or newly acquired bicycle through NDSP. This improves chances of recovery if lost or stolen, or possibly placed on a tree branch. To prevent damage to your property and nearby leafy perennials, consider purchasing a U-lock rather than a cable lock and, if on campus, secure your bike to a bike rack. Also two quick pro tips: once summer is over, and winter quickly approaches, NDSP is willing to store bicycles for free, keeping them safe from the ravages of freezing temperatures and salt. Oh, you have a popped inner tube? Need a new chain? Proform Bike Shop is the closest place where you can get help on maintenance and repairs.

Can’t afford the purchase of a new or used bicycle? Consider LimeBike. These bright key-lime green cruisers are dotted across ND and South Bend. Download their mobile app on Google Play or the App Store to set up an account and ride for 30 minutes for only a $1.00! Plus, if you sign-up with a valid ND (.edu) email, you can get a 50% discount. Plus, if you know you’ll use LimeBike frequently the LimePrime Students program is $14.95 a month that includes 100 ride credits. So, if you are sick of two-ten-ing (walking) everywhere, waste no time and go find a two-wheeled ride!

In this post, we reveal the identity of three of our graduate orientation ambassadors (GOAs). These lovely people have volunteered to support the New Student Orientation taking place in August 2018. While all ND grad students are awesomesauce, the GOAs are a special flavor of awesomeness. If you see them during orientation, or just around, be sure to say hello!

 

Hi! My name is Chuanqi Wang, a third-year PhD student in ACMS department. I’m working with Dr. Jun Li, and our research is mainly about machining learning methods for single cell RNA sequencing data. I’m originally from China and very excited to be a GOA to welcome new graduate students. When I’m not working, I like to go to fitness classes, do some oil painting and handcrafts. I also enjoy cooking and exploring local restaurants. If you have any questions or common interests with me, I’d be more than happy to communicate with you.

 

Hello everyone! My name is Claire Scott-Bacon and I am currently a second-year Ph.D. student in clinical psychology. I am originally from England and call Miami, Florida my home. Currently, while at ND, I call Mishawaka my home away from home.

I enjoy going to the movies, watching superhero movies, gardening, biking, walking, being out on the water (i.e., lake or ocean), fishing, boating, and traveling.

I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to you on your acceptance at Notre Dame, while extending a warm welcome to the South Bend, Mishawaka, Michigan, and Michiana community.  I can assure you there are plenty things to do, see, hear, and enjoy during your down time on and away from campus.

As a non-traditional graduate student, I am very excited to be serving as your Graduate Orientation Ambassador.  I look forward to helping you through your early days on campus at the graduate orientation. Please feel free to as me any question (face-to-face or via email at cscottba@nd.edu) about ND, South Bend, Mishawaka, local attractions, accommodations, transportation, and homeownership.

 

 

 

My name is Arman, I’m from Iran, and I am a second year computer science PhD student. I like playing sports as a hobby, especially volleyball. Come find me if you are interested once you get here! 

 

 

 

Are you looking for some beginning of the semester reading? I’m a fourth-year grad student and I have found these 7 books to be quite influential in my own ability to navigate the world of academia. You may find them helpful too:

The Professor is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD into a Job by

Karen Kelsky

  • Shows you how to structure your time and priorities to meet the demands of the job market.
  • Best for those in the Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Advice for New Faculty Members by Robert Boice

  • Empirically informed explanation for how to overcome the bad habits you’ve formed as a student and how to start thinking like a true scholar
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It by Valeri Young

  • Good for all people- explains impostor syndrome and how to identify that this is the problem that you or your colleagues are suffering from and some key ways to overcome it

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

  • Explains the importance of being in touch with your core values and how to approach structuring your work around those values.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection by Jia Jiang

  • You will get rejected again and again as an academic. This book shows how you can understand these rejections as opportunities while transforming them from ego crushers to ego boosters.

 

The Power of Habit: Why We do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

  • Learn how to craft your approach to your work. By incorporating cues and automating a lot of your research process, you can get more done with less resistance.
  • Get it from the ND Library here

 

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin

  • Understanding all of the intricacies of top performers can inform your work process. There are many subtle nuances to becoming an expert in a field, and this book explores how the good from the great are defined by very subtle differences in everyday decisions.

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In this guest post, Kendra Bayne – Assistant Director at RecSports, shares with us that RecSports is about much more than getting a workout in. Keep reading to see all that they have to offer.

Are you an incoming graduate student at the University of Notre Dame looking for some awesome things to do this coming year? If you are, then you’ve come to the right place! Here at Notre Dame RecSports, we have a variety of offerings for our graduate students to get involved in so you can stay active, meet some new friends, and enhance your graduate experience while at the university. We have compiled a top ten list to give our incoming graduate students a starting point as they begin their search into Notre Dame RecSports.

 

  1. Add a certification to your resume

    One of our most beneficial offerings here at RecSports are our Certification Classes. RecSports offers American Red Cross certification courses for Adult CPR/AED and First Aid. These blended courses combine award-winning, engaging and interactive online simulation learning plus an in-person classroom session to learn and practice critical lifesaving skills for certification. Click here to learn more about our certification classes and how to sign up!Experience Intramural Sports – One of the largest traditions on the campus of Notre Dame, Intramural Sports offers the opportunity for students to participate in various leagues and tournaments throughout the year. Notre Dame is considered to have one of the most unique Intramural Sports programs in the country and graduate students have the ability to participate in a few of these unique sports such as broomball and curling. Click here to learn more about for more information on our Intramural Sports!

  2. Join a Club Sport 

    From rowing to volleyball, rugby to boxing, our club sports are a great way to engage in physical activity on and off campus. Club sports can challenge you to learn a new skill or improve your abilities in a sport you have played all your life. Additionally, the social aspect of joining any of our club sports allows you to meet new people on campus, forge strong friendships, and become an active member in the Notre Dame community. Click here for more information on our club sports!

  3. Conquer the Climbing & Bouldering Wall

    Built in 2017 by Eldorado, the Climbing & Bouldering Wall are made up of both high-performance paneling and real rock textures for the maximum variety of terrain. With over 2,000 sq. ft. of climbable surface, the walls feature a diverse mix of routes accommodating all climbers from beginner to advanced. Click here to learn more about the Climbing & Bouldering Wall!

  4. Try out Group Fitness Classes

    Tired of working out alone? Group Fitness Classes are the cure to that! Meet some new friends as you enjoy a wide variety of group fitness classes that accommodate a range of skills, interests, and age groups. Click here to check out all of our group fitness classes!

  5. Learn through Instructional Series

    For those looking to learn a new skill, such as Tai Chi or Partner Latin Dance, RecSports programs a large menu of instructional classes. These classes meet for a series of weeks rather than semester long, and lessons build upon each other. Click here for more information on our instructional series by visiting our website!

  6. Sign up for Personal Training

    If you’re looking to get serious about your exercise and physical activity, then hiring a personal trainer can be a great way to make a real change in your life. A personal trainer can help you improve your confidence by designing a fitness program unique to your needs and goals. Learn to improve your body’s functional movement through the use of safe and effective exercises that will keep you energized and ready to take your life in a whole new direction. Click here for more information on personal training, check out our website!

  7. Participate in the Domer Run

    Whether you would like to participate in the event or be a volunteer, everyone should be a part of the annual Domer Run! The Domer Run is a fun run with proceeds that are donated to the Gyna Girls of the RiverBend Cancer Services, whose mission is to support women with gynecological cancers, to educate others in recognizing gynecological cancer symptoms, and to be proactive in their own health. Click here for more information on this amazing event!

  8. Work at RecSports

    Each year, RecSports hires enthusiastic customer service oriented individuals to assist us in providing exceptional programs, facilities, and experiences for the Notre Dame community. Working for RecSports allows you to gain experience and transferable skills outside of the classroom. If you would like to work for RecSports, click here to view the process to working with us!

  9. Visit our Facilities

    RecSports has several amazing facilities that graduate students may access with your Irish1Card from sunrise to sunset, including the Smith Center for Recreational Sports in the Duncan Student Center, the Climbing & Bouldering Wall, Rockne Memorial, North Dome, and St. Joseph Beach. Whether you want to exercise or go for a swim at the beach, RecSports’ facilities are the places to visit! Click here to learn more about all of our facilities!

 

We hope that this list has provided all of our graduate students an informative start to their search into RecSports and that they will utilize their status as a graduate student of the University of Notre Dame to its full potential and stay active with us! If you have any questions or just want to continue your search, visit our website here. We can’t wait for you to join us!

 

Smith Center for Recreational Sports is located on the 3rd floor of Duncan Student Center

In this post, we reveal the identity of three of our graduate orientation ambassadors (GOAs). These lovely people have volunteered to support the New Student Orientation taking place in August 2018. While all ND grad students are awesomesauce, the GOAs are a special flavor of awesomeness. If you see them during orientation, or just around, be sure to say hello!

 

Hi! My name is Aliyah Abu-Hazeem and I am a current second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at ND. I am so excited to be serving as a Graduate Orientation Ambassador to help usher you into your new and exciting graduate career! Congratulations! I’m originally from the Southside of Chicago, so community runs deep for me. I was pleasantly surprised to find a tight-knit community both at and around ND, so I’m here to assure you that the same will be true for you. South Bend has so much to offer you in addition to all of the wonderful resources that ND affords its graduate students. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by email: aabuhaze@nd.edu. You can ask me about anything from recommendations on fun things to do on the weekend, local activism and organizing, and homeownership (which is totally possible given SB’s affordability).

 

 

Pamela Bilo Thomas is a third-year PhD student studying under Dr. Nitesh Chawla. Her main areas of focus are machine learning and data mining in relation to health care and disease. Pam is especially interested in chronic illnesses and the socioeconomic roots that contribute to the progression of disease. Pam is a native Hoosier and excited to bring her talents to Notre Dame from Indianapolis, where she has three years of industry experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. Before Notre Dame, she received her undergrad and master’s degree from IU Bloomington. When she is not working in lab, Pam is usually exploring the outdoors, doing yoga, traveling, or hanging out with her husband and 7-year-old Shih Tzu, Hugo.

 

 

Hello! My name is Michelle Corley and I am a second-year Ph.D. student in the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program. I am working with Dr. Mary Ann McDowell in the Biological Sciences Department. I am very excited to be working as a Graduate Orientation Ambassador and to welcome here at ND! I’m originally from South Carolina received my bachelors of science degree in Chemistry and Biology from Winthrop University. When I’m not in lab you can find me participating in group fitness classes, spoiling my kittens with treats, or spending time with my significant other. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to any of us GOAs and we’d be happy to help you.

In this guest post, Mandy Havert, Digital Research and Outreach Librarian in charge of Graduate Outreach Services, shares some of the excellent training opportunities for Grad Students! 

As you prepare for the new academic year, be sure to keep informed of library events, including professional development workshops.  Details of upcoming events always can be found on the Hesburgh Libraries Events Calendar: https://library.nd.edu/events

Watch for dates and times to be announced for this sample of sessions planned for the coming academic year, register and put them in your calendar.

 

 

Up and Running with HTML and CSS (Beginner)

A basic familiarity with HTML and CSS can improve the clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness of your communication and design. No previous experience with HTML or CSS is necessary. These skills help you work effectively and save time when formatting content.

 

Up and Running with Bootstrap (Intermediate)

Bootstrap is one of the most popular frameworks for rapidly building professional-looking,  seamless, mobile-friendly websites with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. A basic working understanding of HTML and CSS is required. You will create a great-looking and effective bootstrap website from the ground up.

 

Create Your Professional Website with WordPress.com (Beginner)

A well-designed website enhances one’s professional ethos offering a collective, public, discoverable space to share thoughts (blog) or publications, as well as other information—such as where, when and how to contact you. No coding experience is required. Bring your cv. You’ll find that your potential grant funders and employers can learn more about you and put you ahead of others in the same job or funding pool.

 

Introduction to Archival Research

Does your advisor assume you know how to do archival research? Have you never set foot in an archive or special collections library? Here’s your chance. This workshop will give you a hands-on crash course working with rare materials and finding aids in our rare books and special collections.

 

Careers: What’s Involved in Working in Special Collections, Archives, and Museums?

Whether earning a Master’s or PhD, there are great careers to explore outside of the tenure-track. Hear about careers in Special Collections, Archives, and Museums. This panel discussion with give you a chance to ask questions and hear different perspectives from people in the field. Learn about different ways to use your graduate degree and still remain in the academy.

 

Read more thoroughly through text mining and natural language processing 

This session provides a very high level overview of the various levels of text mining techniques and how the technology can be used to process or read many texts at one time.

 

Datafile and File Organization and Management 

Do you struggle with locating your files? Is it nearly impossible for you to find and retrieve articles and content that you’ve saved on a moment’s notice? Some organizational approaches will be shared in this session and you’ll have the opportunity to try out some techniques for more effectively managing your data files.

 

 

We’re here for you! This is a sample of our offerings. Don’t see the workshop you need on our events or calendar pages? Contact Mandy Havert at asklib@nd.edu with your request and contact information.

In this guest post Kayla August, a member of the Campus Ministry team, reveals to incoming and current graduate students that there’s more to life than school. Keep reading to see how spirituality can be incorporated into your graduate career.

Find more info about campus ministry here.

 

When Summer arrives, the undergraduate community returns home or goes off to internships across the country. The graduate community, however,  stays anchored on-campus continuing their day in and day out grind on projects, exams, and dissertations still in progress.

 

Many of our hard-working graduate community members don’t get the benefit of a season-long break.  As they continue toward their goals of their graduate-level degree, they often forget that the important lessons are not always confined to the classroom, laboratory, or in a library cubicle. Instead, these are born in the interactions with friends, the navigation of where they will wind up next, and the consideration of what they believe and how they choose to live that out in the world. This requires a different type of education. This education is where Moreau would say “mind and heart” meet. It’s the education of the soul.

 

Mimi Beck, the Director of Graduate Student Life, spoke to this in a talk given as part of the graduate interfaith Summer series called Taste of Faith in late June. Mimi spends her days working and walking beside this community and has a keen insight into the struggles and joys of the graduate student experience. Mimi’s talk My Life’s Thesis: Finding Purpose in the Midst of Graduate Studies spoke directly to what she has witnessed in her work and her life.

 

“Have you ever seen ants going in a straight line?” she began. “They always seem to know exactly where they are going, but have you ever interrupted that trail? It takes them quite a while to find their way again.” Mimi used this analogy to examine the winding path of finding our purpose in life. Like the ants who lost their trail, our paths are not always a direct shot.

 

Mimi shared her own story while also shedding some of the wisdom she has gained over the years. Our future is often “like a horizon.” We see it in the distance, but as soon as we move toward it, it continues to elude us. As she shared her 9 winding years in undergrad, she revealed that she too struggled to find her purpose and took alternative means to getting where she is now. The attending students resonated and laughed as she hit particular pieces that spoke to their present struggles and concerns. She concluded her talk by handing out a sheet that listed numerous values. “Take a minute to circle your top five values. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to add any you don’t see represented here.” Silence fell as students took a moment to reflect. What are the values that guided them day to day? Family? Curiosity? Hope? Joy? Equality? And how do these core values motivate their day to day life?

 

As this time of reflection ended, Mimi preached that “studies show that being reminded daily  of our values keeps us happier.” It reminds us why we do what we do. Family, being one of her core values, is her guide on long days in the office and a reminder of the “why” amidst the daily grind.

 

Mimi was able to touch on one deep truth: that in life, our learning never ceases and each day is another page in that discovery.  After a delicious dinner of Portillos and a compelling talk from Mimi, the graduate students left with more than one thing to chew on. Finding our purpose is rarely a straight line; each of us has to find our own path in our own time.

 

If you, like the ants, are trying to relocate your trail, the next interfaith opportunity will be Thursday, July 19th at 6:30pm in the Coleman Morse Lounge. This month’s interfaith conversation will host Rabbi Karen Companez of Temple Beth- El as she guides our community in a reflection of the challenges of living a life of integrity prior to and after graduation. A complete kosher meal will be provided. Please RSVP here.

 

Come one and all. This is, once again, for anyone looking for lessons not found in the classroom. All students of life are welcome.

Campus Ministry also hosts First Friday dinners.

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