I really liked my student Lori. She was bright and eager, and a pleasure to have in class - so when she told me she wanted to go to graduate school, I was thrilled. She was the perfect candidate. I could picture her excelling, and producing some great research and teaching in the future.
She got admitted to a great program - and didn’t go.
She fell in love, and deferred her admission so she could get married, and she and her husband could settle in a new place. She assured everyone that she still intended to go to school, but many of us were doubtful. And - I hate to admit - I was a little disappointed. Not that she’d chosen marriage “over” grad school (there’s no reason a person can’t do both), but because I felt she might be passing up a great opportunity.
A year passed, and she announced that she would be starting her graduate program in the fall. Friends and family were excited for her, including me. There was an element of relief, too - I was afraid that she’d put it off indefinitely, and end up not going at all.
She went - for a month. And then she withdrew.
She says that in the end, it just wasn’t for her, at least not now. She’d rather start her career, be a wife, and live a “nine to five” kind of life. And there’s nothing wrong with that … except I can’t help feeling a little bit disappointed again.
I know I have no right. I know I’m “projecting.” I know that grad school isn’t for everyone, especially if they’re not 100% committed. I know all of those things … but I also know the pain of missed opportunities, and how it hurts to realize that you passed up an opportunity and can’t get it back.
It’s her choice. I have no right to an opinion at all, but part of me wishes she’d chosen differently. In the end, we each have to do what’s best for ourselves. All I can do is let it go and wish her happiness.