I finally got done with my first semester of graduate school. Although there were a few bumps along the way, I eventually got back into the academia mode. Here are a few things I learned through the first semester I thought I would share with you in case you’re thinking of enrolling in a program.
This may seem a bit trivial, but a job is important not just because of the pay (which helps with the bills). Experience with the degree is must, especially if one goes into a M.A. program without those skills. Basically, you need to be proactive like in undergrad, otherwise you won’t get much out of your experience. For me, I work as a blogger which helps my writing skills and is applicable towards my degree.
There are two parts to organization. The first is the traditional sense in having your schedule, work area, and so forth straight so you can effectively function in life. It came easy to me as I’m already organized . The second is sorting out ideas for essays which took me a bit. I had many topics in my head but had difficulty choosing one at first, which made completing assignments difficult. It took me a while to figure this out, but once I did the better I performed in class because it saved my a lot of pain later on.
By far the biggest challenge. I had to find the right balance between school, work, and my social life that became more apparent as the semester went on. For example, I started extreme by focusing on a class that I struggled with, but ended up hurting my performance in another. I also got up before the crack of dawn for four days to get a parking space, after coming home late from my job. Luckily I adjusted so I didn’t get burnt out.
These were the most important traits that I found in my time so far. It was hard at first to get back into school, but once I did I found it relatively easy to handle. I hope this helps provide some insight into a graduate students life if you decide to go back to graduate school.