Last First Day of Classes, Ever.

I tried writing this post when I was at HellyB (Hellbender Brewing Company for those who don’t follow @TheIPAWay on IG) and I couldn’t get going. Not because I had writers block but because this shit is still very surreal.

This week I begin the journey of becoming Dr. Timothy Ford Bryson.

Not gonna lie. I definitely just had tears swell in my eyeballs, but none fell. Not yet at least. But yes, I am still very speechless. This has been a dream of mine for 6 whole years and this week it becomes a walking reality – I am literally future Dr. TFB.

I would be lying if I said I knew when and how and where I would be earning my doctoral degree. I definitely had ideas in my mind of where I thought I would be, but details remained vague until I continued to walk and find myself working at the University of Maryland, College Park.

This is what I mean when I say things like “let’s walk!” or “we’re walking!”

Absent details is not an excuse to remain stagnant and not move confidently in the direction God has called both you and I to travel. Purpose is active, dynamic, always evolving. Never still.

And that’s why I find myself speechless.

For the last several years, I have been in motion. In South Carolina, I was running around as an undergraduate student echoing “this too shall pass” as I prayed to get tf out of my athletic training program. While at Ohio State, I wrestled with community silence regarding college sport in the context of a higher education and student affairs program. As an NCAA postgraduate intern, I missed working directly with college students, helping them to answer questions of vocation, belonging, and identity.

Through it all, I never knew these experiences would prepare me for this moment and my emerging movement. But I always knew where I was going and who would never forsake me.

So here we are. Fall 2020. Unschedulable blessings.

I am excited to get started and very nervous about writing my first academic paper in 2.5 years. I started to meal prep again, bought Dunkin hazelnut coffee grounds, and have my stockpile of Mike & Ike’s and Hot Tamales ready for my writing sessions. I have gotten a lot of advice from those who are currently pursuing and/or have already earned their doctoral degrees to “find community, run your own race, and to journal throughout the process.”

Well, this is step one!


This journey is mine, but this is journey is for us. Believe that.

For the next several years, I will be working full-time, pursuing my PhD, and running my podcast (@WalkWithTFB). Please do not ask me when I am going to graduate. I do not know now and I probably won’t know in 2022 either.

To be honest, I don’t know how I am going to make all of this happen but I know where I am going and who will never forsake me.

For those who have asked how you can support – Pray for me, always send positive vibes, and send money for craft beer. (CashApp: $TimothyFBryson; Venmo: @TimothyFBryson)

Future Dr. TFB. Future Dr. Tim. Future Dr. Bryson.

Whatever you call me – just know we walking to get there.

Nitamom, Mr. Michael, Leslie B. This degree is for y’all.

Encourage somebody to be great today!

P.S. The tears definitely fell.

Future Dr. TFB

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim, I cannot express to you how encouraging and exciting it is for me to read this post. As another young Black man (and fellow Greek) starting his PhD this semester, I know firsthand what emotions you are feeling right now. The pressure is ever mounting, but it feels so surreal. Hopefully you can find some comfort in my post surrounding this exact same thing ( I’ll definitely be praying for you man, and if you ever need some encouragement or someone to vent to, be sure to hit me up. God bless and stay prayed up!

    Liked by 1 person

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