© 2017 by Cierra Kaler-Jones

May 12, 2017

If you were to ask five-year-old Cierra what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would’ve slew out an ambitious list of ‘ballerina princess, teacher, president,’ probably in that order. Now if you were to ask me that same question, I would confidently reply with, “I don’t know.” In different conversations in varying contexts, I have made a habit of tailoring my answer to this common question to fit into perfectly constructed job titles including executive director of a non-profit or head of a government agency or professor. Even though it may seem as though my future is planned, I still feel a sense of being lost. Throughout the years I have chased dreams dependent on my current situation and the topics that found their way into my heart, but in that, I’ve learned that all of my experiences have led me to the moment I am in today - that of pursuing the Ph.D.

When we hear the word, “doctor,” what do we envision? Do we see a white coat and many years of laborious schoolwork or maybe a...

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