Whewww and just like that my first week of grad school is in the books. Most of you are probably wondering how I got here. About a week and a half ago, I packed up everything and moved to Kansas City, Missouri to obtain a Master’s of Science in Biomedical Sciences with hopes to matriculate to medical school next fall.
Naturally after 3 gap years, I was anxious about going back to school. How do I study? Where are my classes? Will I make friends? Am I the only one silently freaking out? Is this going to be just like undergrad? My first week came and went and I can honestly say it wasn’t THAT bad. I mean I did survive it. But throughout the first week there were some changes and adjustments that had to be made immediately. Here’s what I learned…
Organization is key!
I realized this on day one. Taking 5 science classes requires figuring how to organize class material accordingly. Getting a good planner was the first step. I purchased my life planner from erincondren.com and it helps keep the tasks for each class in order. My school is very tech savvy and gives each student an iPad. I use Microsoft OneNote to organize my notes for each class. I also bought an Apple pencil and use notability to annotate on the slides during lecture.
Find a balance.
Time management is the key in grad school to finding balance between school and life. This was one of the hardest parts of this transition. The beginning of the week was a bit stressful without a routine, but towards the end of the week I felt like I had a grasp on incorporating school, the gym and “me time” into my days. Since this was only the first week, I know that this is a work in progress but having some sort of balance and schedule keeps me sane.
This is NOT undergrad.
They told us in orientation “what you did in undergrad will not work here” and they were right. This week was all about figuring out how to study the volume of information I was given. Memorization and cramming will not get the job done. In grad school you have to actually know the material from every angle and remember it. My study skills have already changed by me actively studying what I learn in lecture every day and building onto that material after each class.
I’m working towards something bigger and better.
I have to keep in the back of my mind that this grind is toward my dreams. Yes, this next year will be hard and probably push me to my limit. But I know in the end that it will all be worth it. I have to keep my eyes on the prize! This time next year I will have another degree and will be sitting in class as an M1!
The first week actually has me excited for the rest of the year. My school has a very comforting and motivating atmosphere that has me happy to be here! Stay tuned to hear about my experiences in my first semester!
To top off my week, I got to see Aubrey and the Migos kick off their tour and it was LIT and exactly what I needed! I told you can be a grad student and still have a life! Balance!