The last month flew by! I have a very flexible schedule this term, but having two classes and two research projects keeps me busy.
Early on in the term, my research advisor said that he would try to find funding for me. Initially, my research this term was meant to be an independent study for course credit, while my research assistantship over the summer would include a stipend. But now I have funding for this term as well! It even covers my tuition!
I really hit the jackpot with my advisor, and I don’t just mean that he’s paying me well (though I’m pretty sure I get paid more now than I did when I was in accounting…). He’s very supportive and more confident in my abilities than I am! He’s very open-minded, liberal, and non-judgmental of everyone, so we get along like friends. Our meetings often go back and forth between work and non-work topics.
My advisor values honesty, so I try to be honest with him about everything, whether it’s academic or not. I told him about my history with my old advisor from math graduate school so that he would know why I’m not confident in my research abilities. He’s always willing to slow down or help me through anything. Even when I’m stressed out or feel like I haven’t done anything productive, he tells me not to worry and assures me that I’m doing fine.
Being completely honest, I came out to my advisor during one of our first meetings. He had just told me a story about his close friend (a professor here) and his partner, so I felt like it was a good time to tell him. Of course, he’s incredibly supportive. In fact, he keeps telling me to go out and date (or at least socialize more with gay people).
I couldn’t have asked for a better advisor. He’s everything my old advisor wasn’t. But maybe I appreciate everything more now because of the experiences I had before. Either way, it’s great to have an advisor who’s also a friend!