It’s hard to believe, but I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of my first quarter of grad school. I have to say this quarter absolutely flew by much faster than any quarter in undergrad. It feels great to have a quarter under my belt, and to finally feel like I’ve got a handle on grad school. It’s definitely different, I’m reminded of being a freshman again, trying to get used to the different structure of college.
So what’s so different you may wonder?
1. More ability to tailor your degree to your personal interests.
One example of this is the Intro to Public Administration class we first years have with Dr. Millesen. Our biggest assignment is to write a literature review on a topic of our choice. Because I was so involved with social media in undergrad, and am dedicated to politics, I chose to write about the effect of social media on elections and campaigns. It has been a thrill to write about and research a topic I hope to become an expert in and plan a career around.
2. Working together is encouraged.
No, this doesn’t mean copying assignments (as it often does in undergrad). Our professors encourage us to work together to solve issues and do assignments. We are able to help each other and have established a really effective communication channel and a great cohort amongst us. We’ve all really bonded together in these 10 weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the future when we separate some.
3. Less busy work. Our assignments have purpose.
In graduate school there are significantly fewer assignments (this is a good thing) and the assignments we do have a purpose. Professors want to see that you’re not only absorbing information and concepts but also that you can apply them to not just real life, but your interests as well.
I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year and seeing where my grad school path takes me.