Treasured guidance in grad school

Staring into the uncertainty of tomorrow can feel overwhelming. It is easy to believe that all our options for the future hang on one major life decision in the present. When I was approaching my second year of grad school, I realized I had an important decision to make: I could either take a course that was guaranteed to result in an “easy A,” or choose a more demanding class with a professor who was known to be a tough grader.  

At that point, I wasn’t yet sure about my career path after graduation, but I was hoping to go on to earn a PhD. If I earned a lesser grade in the more difficult course, my grade point average would drop and immediately decrease my chances of admission to a preferred PhD program. But the more difficult course would better prepare me for success in any PhD program once I arrived. I was torn between needing an impressive transcript and wanting a stronger foundation for my career. 

I wanted to choose wisely, so I took things to God, and listened for divine direction. I turned to one of my favorite citations in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “The discoverer of Christian Science finds the path less difficult when she has the high goal always before her thoughts, than when she counts her footsteps in endeavoring to reach it” (p. 426). With this statement to guide me, I remembered that the high goal wasn’t about grades or admission into prestigious programs. My desire was to serve God by being where I could do the most good, where I could be a blessing. I chose the more challenging class. 

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