Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grad School Just Got Real - Week 6

Books, and articles, and APA, OH MY!

My syllabi say I’m in week 6 of my first semester of grad school. My brain still thinks its August. And my soul is weary, and feels like a bajillion zillion years have passed.

Okay, one of those statements is a slight exaggeration. But that’s beside the point.

The point? Grad school just got real.

At first it was all fun and games – literally. Icebreakers had us juggling random objects in a circle and making fun alliteration-y nicknames for ourselves (Hi, I’m Nefarious Niki…). We had about 20 people in the cohort to be our ‘instant friends’. Everything was all shiny and new as we explored campus (OMG TREES EVERYWHERE.H B WELLS BENCH. FRO YO ON CAMPUS). Myers-Briggs taught us to refer to each other by letters, like how robots are identified by serial codes (ENTJ here, in case you were wondering). HESA Second Years planned beginning of year social events to make us feel like “heeyyyyy I found a friend!” It was some good times!

This is my memory of how the juggling game went. This may or may not be accurate.

Sure, we had readings and they were intense (maybe 600 pages for 3 classes per week?) but at least it was interesting. We all want to be here, after all. It was fun to toss in Student Affairs buzzwords into our conversations (“Why yesss, I reached self-authorship, have you?” or  “I’m going to challenge you to eat all these cookies and support you in that process by eating some cookies also”)

Then Week 6 happened.

Suddenly, guess what, those dates that looked farrrrrrrr away on the syllabus (Oct 1, I’m talking to you!) suddenly aren’t so far away anymore. They are next week.

Apparently this was me for the last 6 weeks

……..So yeah. Just a half dozen group projects. Some 20-ish page research papers. Oh, and weekly assignments. And, ya know, the 20+ hours assistantship. My volunteer duties. Plus, family responsibilities. And this concept of mental health and a social life.

See? Snape feels my pain.

Thank Bob I have a Res Life meal plan so I don’t have to waste my spare time cooking.'

Yeah, basically this is my life. Except sadly Callie's hospital basement apt is more stylish than my grad student housing

It’s funny to me that everyone in HESA (Higher Education & Student Affairs) is 
studying higher ed while trying to survive it.

Here’s hoping I survive the next 2 years and graduate to become a HESA Hero, ready to help college students everywhere on their path to self-authorship.

Regardless of my survival, there’s bound to be some good stories out of this experience.

Although I doubt anything can top the tale of ‘Niki & the Rusty Metal Wire’
…but that’s a story for a different time

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