things i think

Life as a Grad Student

So, what’s it like being in grad school?

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I determine my own schedule (for the most part), which is fun but difficult because I like to have fun in the middle of the day (read blogs, take a nap, go shopping, work out), but I have to be very self-disciplined if I want to get everything done for my classes. What typically happens is I do an average amount most days, a little some days, and work non-stop on other days.

Part of my job is walking across campus on a beautiful day. I get to look at the regal architecture of buildings made of hokie stone, in one of my favorite places in the world. I can stop to take 50 pictures of leaves in the fall, if I am so inclined. The only downside to this is how much time it takes to walk, take the bus, and/or drive from place to place. I would get so much more done during the day if I wasn’t always going back and forth.

I am so much chattier! This is the only reason I was able to hang out with people so much in college: when I am in class or studying all day, I get to max out on the introversion, which I love! I can go an entire morning or afternoon without speaking out loud, if I really don’t want to. Fortunately, this helps me socially, because I am so much more excited to talk to people. I still find myself sometimes nervous to go to social events, but then I’ll be chatting people up non-stop!

I am BUSY. Busy busy busy. B-U-S-Y. Buuuuussssssyyyy. Okay, but seriously, I have to really think about how I am going to allocate my time every day, because if not, my life can get quickly out of balance and I have to spend a day or two playing catch-up (see above), which requires 10-14 hours of solid work-time. That is not fun. I hate declining invitations to hang out with people, but I have to make sure my schoolwork gets done. Often I am working in the evenings and don’t have the time or energy to chat with my husband until I finish. Fortunately this program only lasts two years!

I often feel isolated, because I don’t have as much time to invest in friendships. Moving to a new places always means it will take time before you have really close friends, but not having the time to really put forth towards friendships makes me sometimes feel alone.

I feel fulfilled. I am pursuing a dream that I’ve had for a long time. I’m becoming a person that would make my five, ten, fifteen, and twenty-year old self proud. I want to be in a career where I change the world, and the hard, tedious, academic work I am doing now is working towards that goal. I am using all sides of my brain and heart that God gifted me with. I have friends who think similarly to me; the people who surround me are people who I love having a conversation with. My husband encourages me to pursue my goals, and he is proud of me. I have confirmation of my goals from my family and friends.

What about you? I would love to hear your story, whether you went to grad school, are in it now, or are thinking of going. Or if you have an entirely different life situation right now, I would love to hear what your daily life feels like!

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