When I started grad school, I was pretty sure I was going to become a hoardster.
My dad had died of colon cancer and my mother had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, which is the most aggressive form of cancer.
After my mom died, my dad had to deal with the loss of my younger sister and sister’s mother.
I was in my early twenties and had a lot of anxiety and depression.
I had a really hard time getting through a semester, which meant I was spending a lot more time on social media than in class.
But then, in March of this year, my professor got me a pack of packs of books.
My professor gave me a gift certificate to a bookstore, and then the books I received were for the professor’s own research.
I just kept reading them, and my mind was racing.
I really wanted to get the books.
Then my professor saw the box and asked me, “What are you reading?”
I said, “Well, I’m just reading.”
He said, “[My research assistant] got me these packs of stacks of stacks and stacks of books and he’s just been reading them for hours on end.”
I was like, “Wow.
These are the books my professor gave to me?”
Then my heart sunk.
I didn’t know what to say.
I went to the professor and said, [in a very deep voice] “I just want to go back to class.”
But I couldn’t.
He had this stack of stacks in his office, and I was thinking, “I’m going to get lost in this stack.”
He kept reading to me.
He kept telling me how good these books were.
The professor was such a generous man, and he took me back to my desk and said to me, “[Your professor] is my hero.”
I felt so grateful that he took the time to read me books that he thought would be helpful.
And then he gave me two more packs of packs.
My heart sank.
But the book I was reading was something that really helped me to see that I had to be careful not to over-share my information with others.
He was like my guardian angel, and in return, I feel like he’s my best friend.
This was my first semester at NYU.
I started out with a lot to learn, and now I’ve been in graduate school for almost a year.
I still struggle with social anxiety, which means that I feel very insecure about who I am, but I can be myself, and the more I learn and grow, the more comfortable I feel in my self-worth.
It’s helped me learn a lot about myself.
My research assistant is now my research assistant, and it feels like we have a lot in common.
We both struggle with anxiety, and this book really helped shape who I was.
He also taught me about the importance of collaboration.
We have a really great sense of humor.
We talk about a lot.
I learned so much about myself through this book, and through our relationship, we are both more confident and have more energy and enthusiasm in our research.
And it’s helped my research.
My work is still my research, but now I have the opportunity to be my best self and not just be my work, but my research also.