From elementary school students and college grads to teachers and all the supporters who worked to get them through it, they absolutely deserve to celebrate their accomplishments. It has been a year of so many ups and downs that no one person experienced the same way and that should be recognized. That should be celebrated. And so should we.
Over the past two weeks, I have had the privilege to virtually step out from my little bubble at home and interview alongside about 30 prospective clinical psychology graduate students throughout the country. It was incredible to meet so many different people from countless walks of life who are all looking to pursue the same career. While we all came from separate backgrounds and experiences, there was one question the majority of my interview group answered almost identically, one after another— our answers are those I think would have offered some solace and maybe also lit some confidence in me had I known them going into college.
As someone who likes to sometimes think that I’m as educated as I need to be or I can find all the information I need to know online, I’m only doing half the work if I forget to look at anything outside of what I think I want to find.
This week, I received confirmation that my diploma has been awarded and I am, in fact, no longer a student. As I wait for that piece of paper in the mail, I figured what better way to recognize that than to share with you a few things that I take with me from both inside and outside the classroom as I move into my new role as part of the working world.
What are you going to do to make sure that your everyday life has actually found a new normal, one that is conscious of issues that impact lives outside of your own? Because is the only way to make this a lasting change and it starts at the individual level with every single one of us. It starts with you.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
No matter where we end up on the other side of the pandemic, there are a lot of issues that have gone unaddressed to the point where they not only devalue the daily lifestyle of people of color, but they endanger them when things like this happen. From societal allowances for racism to systematic ones for disproportionate health care, there are certain things that will not change unless we address them both inside and outside of this pandemic.
Rise and grind culture reflects our larger society, the society that just about all of us work and participate in. Even when there is a whole lot going on around the world and so many people are facing countlessly different situations, acting as if right now is the perfect time to buck up and buckle in to get work done is a problematic mindset to perpetuate.
The more I think about it, the more I question the reason I do all of these things, the reason I feel like I need to; I finally realized why the term “black excellence” isn’t just about pride or ability.
Last week, here’s what I did: I kept moving. Just like I think we all do. I went to class, to work, did the homework I could remember to do, and I put one foot in front of the other. Because one thing I realized, at least for my situation, it could have been worse. So, so much worse.