During my coursework, I developed a sneaky habit. When a friend, family member, or work associate asked me to do something extra that I didn’t want to do, I gave the same response. “I can’t. I have to work on my doctorate.” The answer was different if the opportunity was more attractive. My coursework got done faster.
Recently, I did not do something extra I could have done at work. You know, that place that deposits money into your account every two weeks. There is always any number of reasons or excuses for people who do what they do or don’t do.
Part of me wanted to lean on my standby, “I can’t. I have to work on my doctorate.” Instead, I said that I will be available next time.
In the past, I might have talked about assignment expectations, how many pages I have to write, research and references, formatting, the IRB, my committee, or even a software struggle. But getting a doctorate has given me some strength of character along the way.
No doctoral professor will accept an excuse or alternate assignment because my table won’t format correctly on a Mac, my dog had to go to the vet at midnight, or that I can’t find the reference I need. So I don’t offer an excuse. It is useless and only makes me look more confused than I already am.
The point is this: My doctorate is never again an excuse. It is only a point of pride for a promotion in work or life. Coming this far has helped me learn excuses are useless, so that’s worth some tuition, right?