Tuesday, April 27, 2010

first semester of grad school = done. well, almost.

so. i am basically finished my first semester of graduate school. i can't believe it. but i am glad it's (almost) over.
i am ready for my semi-summer break.

here are some things i have learned this semester:
  • i waste too much time. i had 12 hours of class and a 10/week job. this left me tons of time to get work done. but i still wasted sooooooo much time doing other things. you know, facebooking, sportscenter, laundry, dogwalking. bascically anything but school work. mind you, i got all of my work done and i got it done well. but i did create unnecessary stress for myself at times as well. i will work on this next semester. for sure.
  • to me, grad school is not that serious. it's definitely tougher. but it's not as serious as everyone makes it out to me. it is as serious as you want it to be. and nothing in my life is that serious. well, my friends and family. that is about it.
  • so, let me comment on the workload. it didn't feel like more. it felt different. if that makes sense. it was tougher. which took more time. but it was all practical work. so it will be useful to me in my profession. versus memorizing information for a test then forgetting alllllll of it the minute i turn the test in. i value the applied knowledge more. it sticks with you. plus, you will always have those projects as resources to go back to, if need be.
  • graduate school is way more fun that undergrad. yes, i just said that. at least in my program, the course work is set up differently. it is more applied work. so all semester i have felt like i have gained useful knowledge. every project i have worked on, i know has benefited me in someway. it is not just busy work, which you find a lot of in undergrad. it's meaningful. and that makes it much more enjoyable.
  • i miss main campus. because i am studying a particular program, that particular program, recreational therapy, is one building. and that one building is off of main campus. now most grad students enjoy being away from the undergrads. but if you've read any of my previous blogs, i love undergrads. they have so much life and excitement to them. i think graduate students need to be around undergrads, so they don't get burnt out. they need a little bit of life. instead of being hid away in one building. bleh. also, being on main campus you get to know what is going on on campus and around town. again, you can't find that in just one building. double bleh.
  • graduate students are less judgmental than undergrads. initially i thought the opposite, but graduate students are there because they want to be, typically. so they all are working hard towards their goals, which may be similar to mine (or not). so, honestly, who are they to judge me? we all want to graduate with a higher degree and as long as we all are working hard to achieve that, there really is no judgment. that makes the learning environment much easier. 
  • graduate school has really made me appreciate learning. i enjoyed my undergrad career, mostly at ECU, but to learn at a higher level really makes me want to always learn. i feel like i always want to be pursuing some sort of higher education. is this realistic? no. i have been a professional student long enough. plus, i miss working. will i go back to get my PhD one day? probably. you saw it here first.
ok. there is my laundry list of first semester lessons. let's hope i feel the same way come december. my fall is going to be super busy. i have a thesis to get approved and collect data on, i have to look for an internship, i will still have a job. and ohhh yeah, and i will again have 12 semester hours. i will be a busy lady, but if i learn from lesson #1, i think i will be ok ;o)

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