My posts are typically dedicated to experiences or issues pertaining to accessibility and disability. I am switching themes this week because I participated in an event that shifted my perception of being a graduate student.
I recently attended the Dissertation Boot Camp that was held during reading week. It was my first time, and I honestly did not know what to expect. I knew, however, that I needed a change of pace and environment in order to get through my long list of tasks that I had created for myself. Despite the fact that I am not currently working towards my thesis, I thought the boot camp could be the perfect occasion to start and finish course work. Little did I know that, within the boot camp, I would find an energy that I have not felt anywhere else before.
I typically do not enjoy working alongside other folks, but it is such a wonderful feeling to be in a room among 60+ other grad students. I honestly thrived on having time specifically dedicated for me to focus on my work without having to worry about anything else. As a disabled grad student, my days are consumed with anxiety and worry. I can never simply think in the present – my thoughts are always ahead while I plan out the rest of my days.
However, throughout the boot camp, my days were already planned out for me. I did not need to think about meals and schedules, which are evidently two of the most time consuming things in my life. For the first time in such a long while, I was able to focus entirely on my work — and that was the greatest feeling in the world.
I guess that, in a way, this post pertains to accessibility and disability. I felt included in the Dissertation Boot Camp, and I was not constantly disrupted by having to do things as a result of my own disability. I highly recommend participating in a boot camp. I am already looking forwards to the next one. Thank you to Colette and her assistant Efkan for such an amazing week.