A Shoulder to Lean On


A Shoulder to Lean On

This time last year I was working on my dissertation for Master’s degree. Even though my program was located in London, I decided that I would work on it here in the States. As you can imagine, it’s much cheaper to live back over here than it is to live over there, and since I was completely fed up with my program by the time the summer rolled around, I decided that I wouldn’t waste any more of my money across the pond. So I moved back home.

While living here in the US, I worked just as hard on that final project as I would have if I was still living in the UK. I compiled surveys, recruited participants, collected data, and analyzed that data. It wasn’t easy, and living in a completely different time zone than my advisor made things even more difficult. I had many questions about how to best carry out my project, but I was never able to ask them. You see, when I moved back home it was like my advisor completely forgot about me. Since I wasn’t there in the same city as she was anymore, she wasn’t there to help me with my questions. She gave up on me, but just because she wasn’t in my corner anymore didn’t mean that I couldn’t be there for myself. I needed to pass my thesis because, unlike programs State side, the grade that I got on that paper would determine my grade for the entire course. That meant that all of the A’s and B’s that I had received in the classes that I took during the school year were irrelevant. They couldn’t be averaged together with the marks from my project in order to give me a higher grade. An F on my dissertation meant that an F in the course. I didn’t want that, so I had to make sure to not give up on myself. And the way I was able to do that was with the help of the internet.

Living in the age of technology can be a blessing and a curse. Things like social media put us in a position where we feel like we have to constantly compare ourselves to everyone, but on the flip side it also allows us to connect with people that we might have lost touch with if we didn’t have access to the World Wide Web. One of the other positive things is that we have information available literally at our fingertips. Since so many of us out here have smartphones (heck, you might even be reading this right now from one), we can just pull up Google and type our question in the little search box, and within seconds we’ll have our answer. And that’s exactly what I ended up doing whenever I became lost when I was finishing my thesis. It would’ve been easier to have my advisor in my corner, but I did what I needed to do to make sure that I wouldn’t put myself in a position to give up on myself. And you should do the same.

Throughout your life you’ll come across many people. Some of them will be there for the long haul, but others are just there for a short time. It would be great if we could always count on everyone who is in our life to be there for us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, but that’s not realistic. That’s why you have to make sure that you show up for yourself every time. You have to be the one who’s going to be there for you in your time of need positive thinker. It’ll be great if you have someone else to lean on during a rough moment, but you can’t just assume that that’s a for sure thing. That’s why it’s so important that you learn to be that shoulder that you can lean on. When you figure out how to do that, you don’t ever have to worry about being alone in your times of need because you’ll have the help of the most important person you should be able to count on. Yourself!