Being the first in anything can be quite scary. It can be very challenging and absolutely stressful. Being the first in the family, in class presentations, in a challenge, to finish a test, etc. all ask for you to be strong willed, determined, and patient.
What makes it all harder is when we allow those in our lives to affect or divert our will, determination, and patience that hinder our chances to reach our goals.
I know this all too well. My parents only received their high school diplomas as my grandparents finished only junior high school. I am the youngest of four children and the first to obtain a Masters degree.
I am currently pursuing my PhD and when I graduate, I’ll be the first in my whole immediate and extended family to be a Doctor of Philosophy. It was and still is beyond challenging and stressful since I am on this journey on my own. I do not have anyone in my immediate family that has walked this path before. None of my parents or siblings could have helped me on the journey of obtaining my Masters or my current PhD.
Thankfully I have a north star in my very long journey of post graduate degrees. My brother-in-law, my mentor, father-figure, and friend has been my biggest and most consistent supporter since I was young, reminding me of my worth and potential.
Although I never experienced others making my journey in obtaining my Masters difficult, I was my worst enemy. My will, determination, and patience were challenged daily regardless of having my mentor in my corner. I was my own worst cheerleader and I cheered loudly.
This is when I had to teach myself more about self-love and self-worth. I needed to believe in myself. I needed to see what others saw in me and believe it. Once I started to implement these practices I was able to be a better cheerleader for myself. I was able to cheer with those who were in my corner. Now I am pushing even harder to finish my PhD.