Minority grad student

  1. Okay, I don't normally post threads, but I've been having something bug me for the past few months, and it's been driving me up the wall now that school is beginning to approach. I feel stupid for posting this, but I need a little advice, if any.

    I'm going into a PhD program for Developmental Psych, and although I'm looking forward to school and all, I can't shake off the idea that I don't feel confident in my skills/intellect. :sad: The reason for that is because I come from a humble background, and no one in my family has gone on to do a PhD program because they didn't have/didn't take up the opportunity, they were too poor, or they were messed up in some sort of way (don't ask). And I hate to say this, but I think being a Filipino is part of the reason why I don't feel like I can do well. Not saying that my ethnic background isn't as prestigious as other ethnicities, but I can't think of any full-blooded Filipino I can look up to and who's been in my situation. It's easy for me to think of someone who's white, African American, East Asian, Indian, and Latino who's gone on to get their PhD...but not Filipinos. I'm not trying to bash my own race! But I just don't know if I can do it when I don't know anyone who has done what I'm doing. Even reading statistics/textbooks makes me more pessimistic about my potential future.

    To make the situation better (not), none of my close friends from high school are going to get their PhDs and I'm jealous because it seems like they have some sort of stability in their lives (married and have salary jobs), and I'm going to school when I don't know if I can finish!

    Basically, I've done research before, I did an Honors thesis, did well in school/GREs...but a part of me still thinks I'm underestimating what I got myself into. Am I getting cold feet? Is what I'm feeling normal? GAH!!! :confused1:

    Okay, end vent. :sad:
  2. i think it's just nerves bernz...think about it, would your uni/college grant you onto a research progamme if they felt you couldn't produce the goods?! I think not!?!

    So, you succesfully completed research before, you completed an honours thesis, you did well in highschool...and you're NOW doubting yourself!? If you've always done you best...and your best has always been good enough, then keep doing what you are doing and you'll be perfectly fine!!

  3. I think it is just nerves!! Look how far you've gotten on your own skills and performance in school thus far. Do not underestimate your abilities! You'll be challenged and given the opportunity to thrive and show yourself how much you are capable of. Congratulations on getting into the PhD program and good luck!
  4. I totally understand how you feel. I have felt the same way myself. When I started law school last year, I was terrified that I wold not be able to finish. I still have that fear sometimes. But I don't let it get in the way of my goals. You know: feel the fear and do it anyway.

    In my law school, there are very few people like me. Many students and even profs expected me to be less apt than the other students. Sometimes, I felt it too. But, I just keep going.

    In your heart you know the truth. You know that you are capable. You didn't get where you are by accident. You are here because you earned your spot. Let the emotional side of yourself feel these feelings. But at the end of the day, follow what the rational side of yourself knows. You will be just fine.
  5. i think everyone questions whether or not they can do something. It has nothing to do with your heritage. Just because none of your friends are getting a phd isn't enough of a reason for you to give up. you can do it!!!
  6. Oooohhhh sweetie *HUGS* I was in your situation several years ago...and just finished my masters and continuing ont o the PhD!!! You'll do fine!! Remember...you can ALWAYS PM me anytime!!!!!
  7. I think it's just nerves... everybody feels that way when they face a big challenge. It's not a bad thing to feel you can't do it because of your family problems but please don't listen to the little voices in your head! Remember, it's only those who risk that gain. And yeah, you will go through a lot of difficulties during your studies just as everybody else. Listen, it is YOUR choice to have an education. YOU are in control of your life... take the chance!!! you will do great!!!!

    PS> I'm also studying a postgrad and trust me there are times when I read the notes and go "phhhhhwaaaaaarr" in my head and need to read the same page like 20 times to get a vague idea what it is about... when I finally manage to understand the text, it feels GREAT :smile:

  8. I feel the same way. I start my PhD in 34 days, and I have the worst case of cold feet! I feel like I'm totally out of my league and when I get there they're going to want to kick me out for not knowing enough. It makes my head spin just thinking about it.
  9. Don't feel like that!
    I will just share my story with you, because its the same except im white,

    I got onto my dentistry course and suddenly found that i and only 2 other students were white. Everyone else on a 80 person course were of Indian origin. It scared me and intimidated me for a while, but now it doesn't bother me in the slightest!
    I am the first person in my ENTIRE FAMILY to ever go to university period! (They all did fine without degrees)And to get onto a dentistry course was like wow! And everyone elses parents/ cousins etc are all dentists etc. So im like wth! How am I supposed to fit in here!!
    But at the end of the day I got there working hard, the same as everyone else and so did you! Dont feel intimidated or dis-heartened! It will be fine and keep your head in your books it will all work out! xx

    Actually, i will say that because I am not the 'normal' dental student, no previous uni people in family etc, the teahers are even more welcoming! Im sure you will find the same!
  10. You will do awesome! I know you will...you have the ability and the drive, you just need a good dose of confidence! Take it a day at a time.

    YOU can be a role model for your friends, family and others of your heritage. I know you can do it....!!!!!!!
  11. Thanks, ladies. Reading your posts helps me feel a lot better. I think I was fine about going to school up until everything started to fall into place...my placement in school, my housing application, etc...it just felt so overwhelming, you know? And then I started to think about how to get by, and it just dawned to me that I didn't have anyone in my family/ethnic background to look back on and see how he/she did. I know I'm not the first person to go on this endeavor, but it's just scary to think that next month my life is going to be different!
  12. Bernz, don't worry you'll do fine! They wouldn't have picked you for the program if they thought you couldn't do it, KWIM? Just take things one day at a time. . .
  13. If you feel the need to have a mentor, look into your community. I'm Filipino and I know alot who's excelled in different fields.
    I agree with pps that it may just be your nerves getting the best of you. Hang in there, bernz.
  14. Hey girl, don't worry! It's easy to feel disheartened and nervous especially when you are in a period of transition. I've been in the same place as you. Either it's being a minority, a woman (for me, as I'm in the sciences I had this a LOT - the guys always have time and energy and supportive wives - at least it felt that way to me!) sometimes some things just make you feel at a disadvantage no matter what!

    Have courage and have faith.

    You'll do great!
  15. Remember "nothing is forever except change"...

    I believe that opportunity is, in great part, an attitude of mind and that it is always available in abundance, but that it is not always easy to spot it as such.
    Those who seem to be on the best terms with opportinity are those who have gone out of their way to be hospitable to it. Open yourself to this new opportunity and it will open itself to you.
    The Very Best of Luck to you.
    Kathy d