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Holmes Program Doctoral Scholar Reflects on First Year

From the Holmes Bulletin

This reflection originally appeared on the Holmes Scholars Bulletin. 
Who would take me under their wing? Why would they help me get into a doctoral program? Does anyone see me and any potential in me?

Questions of uncertainty, depreciation, and self-doubt were hurling at me as I searched for a doctoral program in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration.

Yet, as I navigate the University of South Carolina’s program for these past two months of the semester, I have found that I belong, with all my humanity being present in the spaces I navigate.

Access to these intellectually curious spaces of graduate school was a significant barrier for me and is most often granted to a select few. Yet, I know that I made it with the help of Holmes, and so can we as we build community. It is indeed humbling to know that we made it this far; “we” includes my family, my communities, my languages, my ethnicities, my cultures, and my embodied ancestral humanity. And I also acknowledge the many for whom it was not possible, but I strive to do better from this humble place. Not just for myself, but for “we”’ for us.

Mentorship, peer support, and professional development are the three pillars of the Holmes Scholars Program. I am elated to have received this support in abundance even before starting my program, as I moved to a new city, and now as I transition to a doctoral program. The feelings of a sense of belonging are not easily reachable; it’s constantly shifting, moving, and effervescent, and this is a very high standard to attain. As an international student from Mumbai (India), it feels like home, and my home is literally on the other side of the world!