A PhD for me? 

It’s been two weeks since my doctoral interview at University of Pennsylvania and about a week or so remains until I hear whether I’ve been accepted. I figure now is a good time to sort through some of my thoughts related to study and my perceptions/worries/goals. So hold tight while I sift through it all, okay? 

I have an interesting personality at times. Spontaneous, adventurous, anxious, curious, daring, and determined. So I can go from raring to go to ultra cautious in seconds. 

Deciding to apply to school was equal parts spontaneous and long thought out (ish). 

A former professor/colleague has been prompting me to go back to school since I finished my masters and when I’d been teaching the tenure track required the terminal degree (PhD or DNP for nursing). It was something I knew I needed to do, but wasn’t committed to the idea of the intense time and research requited just yet. I mean, I was still trying to figure out how to be a good teacher! 

I put in an inquiry about the school just prior to deciding to step away from teaching for a while. That meant I received countless open house invitations that I deleted without a thought. Why even consider it now? I’m not teaching and the thought of a dissertation made me ill.  

A funny thing happened as my travel career continued. Someone would ask me if I planned on doing traveling for long. I’ll save my reply to that for a other post, but in essence it lead to me discussing my plans and hopes for the future. 

School kept coming up. Or more specifically, my desire to do work in sexual education came up. 

My desire is twofold: self-efficacy for both young teenage girls who have experienced a pregnancy and women who are coming out of the sex trade industry. 

We do a real disservice to young girls when it comes to sexual health. Shoot, we do a disservice to adolescents in general. I’ll not proceed into a rant here, but I firmly believe there’s a way to introduce sexual education to kids in conjunction with faith. Acknowledging sin, faith, hormones, temptation, and education is vital and important. As to the other portion, there’s a group of people who are lost. Being forced to engage in sexual activity against your will can damage you in ways people don’t understand. Where’s the help? Spiritually, emotionally, physically? There’s so many good programs and bridging the gap for people in these situations is huge. 

It became obvious to me that taking a research approach was going to make seeing where I could help easier. 

An email popped up in my inbox a few months ago for Penn’s Open house and I was actually already going to be off and close to home. RSVP and I’m there! I was blown away by what Penn could offer. A prestigious institution that would equip me with the tools Id need to make my desires clear…

If I could get in 

GRE taking, application, stomach churning interview process. I’m at the point where I’m not even sure what I want to happen. 

Cons or uncertainties

  1. Giving up traveling for a minimum of 3 years
  2. Battling anxiety of trying to make it through school
  3. Paper writing including my dissertation 
  4. And Philly winters 😑


  1. Being in and graduating from (because I’ll graduate even if it kills me) a prestigious program
  2. Having an excellent mentoring program in my study and in general 
  3. Not being financially in debt 
  4. Having options in my career 

I keep telling myself that it’s okay if I don’t get in because it’s another year I’ll have the fortune of avoiding winter. I’d be lying if I say I won’t cry if I’m rejected. 

So here I am. On the cusp of trying to determine the next steps in my career, wondering if it’s the next best step for me. I’m hoping I get in and am successful. I’ll figure out the rest of the path after that, eh? God seems to be leading me somewhere if I’ll listen closely. 

So PhD? Maybe


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