I have officially completed my first year here at Pitt and feel incredibly grateful to have made it. Gradschool 10 days after Peace Corps is not a good idea-and I now know they tell you that for a reason! If your head is still swimming it is hard to concentrate! But I made it in one piece, with a couple of changes over the past month.
I have removed myself from my fellowship and the PhD program all together. I had been trying to make it work but in the end this just wasn't the program for me. I am still going to finish my M.S in Civil & Environmental Engineering, and do it the way I want. This summer I will be conducting field research in Nicaragua and Guatemala on rural electrification and next year I'll finish up my thesis on the Sustainability of Rural Electrification projects. Also, I have been picked up by the department as a Teaching Assistant for next year to help develop their first course on Engineering for Developing Communities. So next year will definitely allow me to focus on engineering in the developing world, the real reason I am back in school.
After that, I am not quite sure I am thinking that a degree in International Development might be in my future. We will see. For now I am focusing on doing some valuable research this summer and getting back to school in the fall excited to be back and studying exactly what I wanted!
Its funny how things tend to work out if you just follow your gut...