All posts tagged: Graduation

The Lessons I Had to Learn in Order to Survive Grad School

WOOHOO. I did what I honestly wasn’t sure I’d be able to do and finished graduate school. I’m grateful for the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree at such a prestigious university, but ultimately I’m most thankful for how I’ve grown as a person over these past two years. No matter what you’re studying, graduate school is extremely time-consuming, stressful, and often highly competitive. In my first semester we were required to take a professionalization course in which we learned about conferences, academia, and a lot of things that didn’t pertain to me since I was never interested in becoming a professor or pursuing a PhD. But one concept stuck with me, and that was the dreaded and all-consuming Imposter Syndrome. My entire graduate school experience was shaped by this syndrome, which Wikipedia characterizes as “a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.” (And yes, I wanted to use Wikipedia as a source since it’s such an academic no-no). I felt like an …

College Reflections

This weekend my boyfriend graduated from The University of Arizona, bringing any academic connection I had to my undergraduate experience to a close. I am unbelievably excited for him, but the moment was still a little bitter-sweet. Yesterday we stopped for brunch at a restaurant near the university, and after our meal we decided to go for a walk along the iconic mall that runs down the center of campus. It was an especially wonderful desert winter day and we found ourselves reminiscing about the many years we spent on campus, even before we attended school there. For most Tucsonans, including those who didn’t attend The U of A, there’s something wonderfully sacred and significant about our school. Not only is our campus beautiful, but it’s a sanctuary where anyone can come to learn, explore, and try new things. Whether you’re riding a bike down a path, watching a basketball game, studying, or playing frisbee on the mall, visitors can seek refuge in that wonderful place of discovery. Although I graduated 1.5 years ago, our final walk through campus gave me the closure I …

Lessons Learned: Post-Graduation

This past spring I was swamped. I had two jobs, an internship, and a full course-load. I was also trying to finish my thesis project and last semester of my undergraduate career. Now that I’m maybe 1/1000th as busy as I was then, I don’t even know how I made it through. College was a lot of fun, but I was running on an empty tank for the last two years and was happy to finally get to re-fuel. That was a seriously dorky analogy, but exactly how I felt. In the midst of the most stressful year of my life, I sat down and thought about the lessons of college – specifically my last year. I wrote them down and ended up with a pretty intense list. Now that I’ve graduated I have a few more thoughts. LESSONS FROM UNDERGRAD (IN PARTICULAR, SENIOR YEAR) Know who you are. Know your self worth. You are stronger than you think. People will always doubt you. At least a handful, if not more. You doubt others too. …