Feeding my soul…one word at a time.

Halfway through my third semester of graduate school…. I find myself writing more and more.

Not writing about what I probably should be writing about.

You know, like my thesis project. I’m clearly not putting enough time to developing my thesis…. what is my hypothesis? What about my findings? What research am I doing and how will it all be completed in the next few months?

No…… I haven’t exactly gotten to all that. (I hope my professors aren’t reading this)

What I am writing about, I’m mostly not publishing. It’s personal. But I am writing…. a whole lot.

I’m writing about life, health, love and romance… graduate school (sigh). The future, the past… what I ate for breakfast this morning (ok, I’m not writing about that). But I am writing and I am putting all my thoughts, feelings, and emotions out on paper…. (Not paper literally, but on my MacBook).

Writing does for me what yoga probably does for you. Writing gives me a sense of relief; it gives me peace and tranquility. Sometimes it makes me cry, and sometimes it makes me happy. Sometimes it makes me remember… sometimes it even motivates and inspires me. But what writing usually doesn’t do…is cause me stress, writing usually doesn’t make me angry nor does it make me sad. I mean, yes of course sometimes I’ll write out of frustration but every time that I save my word document or that I publish my blog, I feel it…. that sense of relief.

I think I know the reason why I find myself writing more and more.

I am halfway through my third semester of graduate school…and near the end, the end of this little but so challenging journey. A journey that to be honest… I never envisioned for myself.

A few years back I came across this chart titled: “Chicana/o educational pipeline at the turn of the 21st century.”

According to this chart, (based on 100 students) there was a steady number of Latinos or Chicanos/as dropping out of elementary, middle school, and high school.

And out of these 100 Chicanos/as, only seven made it out of college and only two received a Graduate degree. TWO out of the 100!

…And I could possibly be one of the two?

May of 2014, could I possibly say…. I am a Latina, a Chicana with an M.A. degree?

To some, this isn’t a big deal…to some, it may be.

To me, it just proves one thing.

It proves that you can do anything you set your mind to…really.

I never envisioned myself as a twenty-five year old single woman, living alone in the city of Los Angeles in pursue of a graduate degree…in pursue of a dream.

As a first-generation Latina in the United States, they tell you to dream big… they tell you to go to college and they tell you, buy yourself a nice house and a cute car and create a comfortable living for yourself and your family. But they also hesitate when you tell them how big your dream really is…when you tell them that your dream is bigger than a college degree and a comfortable life… that instead, you want to be different.

I think the reason I find myself writing more and more is for the simple fact…that I want to share. Share on my experiences, share my thoughts, raise some questions, and possibly come to some sort of conclusion.

I want to talk about things I don’t read about…or ever even come across.

I haven’t concluded this chapter yet, but I am close…it wasn’t and it isn’t easy. This past year has been my most challenging, exhausting, nerve-wrecking, sleep-less, and confusing year.

There, I said it.

I don’t know what the next few months will entail but I wish more and more people would speak up, share on their own experiences, share their own thoughts, and share their own stories. Maybe then, we can all openly share, discuss, and know that we are not alone…. alone in this gruesome and challenging journey of life and graduate school.

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Wow. 2 out of 100! I’m a Chicana, first generation college graduate and I too wanted to be different and not settle for the traditional role of a woman. I am a crazy grad sstudent who wishes I just would have started teaching 5th grade when I graduated. 4 years later and I’m fixin’ to take my oral comp exam for candidacy next week. I appreciate your honesty about sharing. Within the last several months I’ve suddenly felt the need to write more (my research…of course not) and open up, but I wasn’t sure it was worth it. Glad to know I’m not alone in the journey!! Buena suerte!

  2. I too was a first generation college student, and personally, I found graduate school stifling to creativity and more of a hindrance to writing than anything. You have to speak to your authentic experience and express yourself as honestly as you can to create new works, but graduate school, to me, is more about learning to catalog ideas into classifications. Glad you’re near the end.

  3. Victoria, thank you for your comment and support. Good luck to you as well, keep us posted of your success! I am sure you will do great on your comp exam. It’s crazy when you come across numbers as shocking as the 2 out of 100, isn’t it? I love coming across any Latinas/Chicanas who are on the same boat as myself. Suerte y buenas vibras!