With the semester coming to a close, the office quiet like I’ve never seen it, and class work letting up, I wanted to add an update.
Having survived round one of grad school, I wanted to reflect on some of what I have learned:
- Learn APA: people legitimately use it and it matters. You don’t have to be perfect, but at least know the basic formatting
- Your professors are just as stressed as you: Believe it or not, your professor has a lot going on too besides grading your paper. Some will be much faster at getting it back to you than others. Breathe and let them do their thing. Talk to them if you have concerns.
- Writing, Writing, and more writing…: Grad school in higher education is exactly what they say it is, reading and writing. Be patient and take some time to do it, you will appreciate that later. Don’t let your ability to write intimidate you, there will be a lot of it and you will get better at it.
- Reflect…Always Reflect: As I learned writing AL’s for COM 466 with Mindy Sopher, take some time. There is a lot you will have going on in your life. You are no longer the carefree undergrad (some never were) but part of the “responsible adult” group. Think about what you’re doing, who you are, and who you want to be. Think about the topics you study and the reading you do. Whatever you do, take some time to reflect on it.
- Be you: This is your graduate career. Many of the people you work with know what you are going through and are willing to help you get the experiences you need. Take some time and talk to them, get to know them, and in turn get to know yourself.
- STTTRREEEEETTTCCHH: Do something different. Explore new offices and avenues. Study something completely different for a class project. Read a book on a random topic. Through it all, see the connections you find. I wrote a paper recently that more or less connected the work I had done in all of my classes this semester, from history of higher ed to theories of counseling.
- Finally, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! Whether with classmates, advisees, coworkers, mentors, or anything else, laugh and relax. Have FUN!
*One other random point is that members of my cohort and I are establishing a professional service fraternity for academia and student affairs. If you are interested, keep your eyes out for more information!