What I Learned My First Year as a #SAGrad

As my first year of Graduate School is coming to a close I have been in purposeful reflection on my experience. I have grown so much personally and as a professional that it is overwhelming to think of all of the knowledge I still have not gained.

1. My passion is not my job, my job helps fulfill my passion

Three months ago if someone had asked me what my passion is I would have said, “College students.” and that is a very surface level answer. I value curiosity most of all. The desire to know more and to gain knowledge is drives everything I do. I have never been able to understand how people are bored when there is so much to learn. The desire to be a lifelong learner has translated into my interest in Higher Education. Understanding what I value and where my passion lies helps motivate me to the best I can for my students everyday.

2. I must take control of my own learning

I’ve come to realize that my Graduate Assistantship and my classes will only take me so far in the knowledge I want to gain. If I want to learn more, I must do more. Passive learning isn’t going to work for what I want.

3. Interdependence is key

I feel as though Grad School made me go through Chickering’s Vector’s all over again. One of my favorite Professor’s in undergrad, Dr. Rupert Nacoste, used to quote John Donne’s “No Man is an island,” line from, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, in class and now I finally get it. Grad School is difficult and it helps to have a group in your corner cheering you on. It helps even more to have people who are in the trenches with you. You are never going to be close friends with all of your classmates but try to find at least one that you can depend on to be there for you.

4. Write the paper early

Something will come up and ruin your plan. Just do it early.

5. You don’t have to trust the process

I’m a Millennial. The process can do what it wants over there but I’m going to go get what I want because I want it now. Yes, I know that is very millennial of me to say and I will learn differently later. [No, I won’t]

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