so i have been a graduate student for about, ummmm, 4 weeks now. so that makes me an expert...hehee. however, in these few short weeks, i have noticed some differences between undergrad and grad school. good and bad. read on...
things i have noticed that are different between undergraduate and graduate school:
my schedule kicks ass. i am in class three days a week for a total of 9 hours. its awesome. so i have 5 other days of the week to do whatever i want. nothing. basically.
hahah. just kidding. i work. i (try to) workout. i clean the house (since someone else doesn't do it). and i actually stay ahead on my school work.
the professors are much more laid back. they want you to succeed. not that they don't at the undergraduate level, but they know that almost all graduate students chose to be there. they opted to continue onto higher education. versus undergrads who feel like they have to do it (they are "supposed to", for money, for their parents, etc). so the professors are more like mentors and friends, than an authority figure. there are no power trips. there are no mind games. they just want the best for you.
some graduate students are very serious about graduate school. very serious.
i have to write a thesis. ahhh! definitely not something required at the undergraduate level. it is overwhelming. but the more i have been thrown into. yes, thrown because i have had basically 4 weeks to decide my thesis topic. and will meet with a "top dog" prof tomorrow to find out if it will work or if it is totally stupid. so, hopefully it will work and i can continue my research.
anywho, the more i have been thrown into it, the more it excites me because i will get to work on a project that is meaningful to ME. to something i want to do as a professional. it's awesome.
i am more motivated that i have ever been. i was a motivated undergrad. well, at least while i have been at ECU. but now, this program really means something. i want it so much more than my undergraduate degree. plus, one wrong move and you're done. bad grades and they give you the boot. it's serious business. whereas, in undergrad, you could screw up at least 4 or 5 times before they got tired of you. plus, even though professors are more laid back, they expect more out of you. like when they say "do the reading before class." they actually mean it. and i actually do it!
our department has what is called P.A.H. it stands for Positive Affect Hour. i guess they have one or two a month. it is a time for all the students and profs to meet out at a bar, have a couple of drinks and relax. how flipping awesome is that!? who has ever gone out drinking with their profs!? i haven't. and i haven't been to a P.A.H. yet (because i was out of town when they had one). but next time, i am there. i wonder if anyone gets out of control drunk? and they has to do the ol' walk of shame? but its like a reverse walk of shame because they have the shameful walk into class on monday. boom! i'll let you know after the next P.A.H.
one thing i dislike: all of my classes are in one building. that is not located on main campus. i love main campus. if you've read my blog at all, i love seeing all of the ridiculous, funny, "did that just really happen?!" shit that happens on main campus. no much happens at my building at 8am and 5pm at night. yes, that is when my classes are. worst times of day. which is kind of another complaint. but since i am only in class 3 days a week, i don't really have much to complain about, do i?
so, since i never go to main campus anymore, i feel like i am missing out on things. you know, the "happenings." the events. the "hear and now." i don't know. i just miss the stuff. i don't get the student newspaper. or see the flyers of things going on around campus. some people hate undergrads. i was just one of them. and i think they are a lot of fun.
i keep forgetting that i am alumnae. i am still so proud of me. and i don't think that is bad thing. most people are never proud enough of themselves. i am proud of my accomplishments. but even though i am an alumnae, i am still just a student. and i love being a student. so much that i have made quite a nice career out of it so far! haha.