The End of My First Year as A Grad Student

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Well it’s officially over, there, I said it, “I survived my first year of grad school”.
Except for the fact for my DSM final I heard that I misdiagnosed the one scenario I was most worried about, so we will see how many points I get for finishing it at least.
I also may have passed in my other final paper a little late, by late I mean three hours late, so not terrible but I won’t be waiting to the very last minute to do it again. (I always say that)

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions: happy, stressed, sad, freaking out, all the other ones I could possible imagine, but I can say I survived, and that I feel confident with moving forward.

This fall will be a start of a busy year, starting my internship, on top of classes and still working as much as I can.
I like what I do, working with children on the Autism spectrum. It’s been rewarding to see what I can do for those who need it the most.

A little advice to those who want to get a leg up in grad school: talk to your professors.
Get to know them, I know in a smaller program its much easier, but even asking questions in class makes sure they know you’re willing to learn and want to be there (even if you don’t that day, trust me we all have those days).
Grad school has taught me one thing: to stay in touch with your teachers and classmates. I’m glad I go to a smaller program because the students around me are understanding that life happens, and they’ve been a great support system through school and life, and thats more than I could ask for.

Grad School Has Become Real Life

I had my practicum interview for grad school last week. All I have to say is, I got super lucky with where they are placing me.
The people I’m going to work under seem really hard working and passionate when it comes to helping the students in their district.

A quick background for you: I’ve always worked with kids, whether it be in a barn or a school setting, I absolutely love it. Lately it’s been more stressful than not due to working with children on the spectrum, but I will admit I’ve learned a lot about myself as well as the kids.

I enjoy the challenge this new job has brought me, and connected to this challenge is working as a part time student in a Masters of Social Work Program. My parents were right (shh.. don’t tell them I admitted it) when they said school is a full time job. Even though I’m in the part-time program, I’m constantly thinking about what has to be done, and working towards doing my best. Given the opportunity to work in a school setting again is exciting for me. My previous experiences have been joyful, and I’m hoping with my higher level of education I can assist those I’ll be working with to better the counseling programs available.

Grad school has taught me how to better organize my time, how to focus on the task at hand, as well as teaching me that I do actually remember some things from undergrad (a shocker, I know). This program is going to last for two more years, so I need to make the best of it.

 

Education Never Ends

You never stop learning, not even for a second.

I never stopped learning that procrastination is a habit, and it’s a tough one to overcome. For example, I should be working on a few papers, yet, instead I’m creating my first blog post.

School teaches you more than basic education; it teaches you about yourself. For example, how you prefer to study, what kind of books you like to read, what kind of writing style you have, and then it teaches you other things of course but the list would go on forever and I’m only taking a 5 minute break from reality.

I learned I don’t care for the old english styled writing, but I love books like “Jane Eyre” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” because they teach you about people. They teach you how people operate, and that some people are just more fortunate than others.

School has taught me much more than how to read and write. It has taught me how to handle myself in the real world, by forcing me to be social with my class mates, as well as how to handle telling a professor you honestly messed up the due date and no you will not be able to present. (Yes this did happen, and yes I did almost cry in front of my professor, and no that didn’t mean I could redo it)

I’ve learned that you learn from your mistakes, but you don’t always correct them the second time around, and sometimes not even the third, but hey, I’ll get it eventually.

School will always be stressful, it’s meant to be that way. Why? Because it’s pushing you past what you already know. If it was easy, there would be no point, and then we would all be ignorant and not be able to function very well in society.

But I’ve learned what area of study I prefer, and that to me is priceless. I was once a young kid who had high hopes of becoming a veterinarian, and then that changed when I realized I didn’t like needles. Okay, so that dream didn’t last long, but you know what I mean.

I’m still learning, like right now I’m learning that being a grad student is tough, and yet, I know it won’t hurt me to do it.

Never let yourself think you can’t do something, because I’ve learned even if you’re not good in one area, you’re just going to be better in another; it just may take time and money to figure it out.
“They told me I couldn’t. That’s why I did”