October Monthly Writing Challenge
I just started my first year as graduate student at Northeaster University in Boston, Massachusetts. I am in the mental health counseling masters program, and have learned quite a bit in this first month. The October writing challenge asks us to talk about what we have been learning in our studies so far. Where do I Begin? Well, I am a full time student so I am taking five courses, and also must complete a 100 hour volunteer experience as part of my degree requirements. On top of this I have to support myself so I serve at a restaurant as mush as possible during the week and weekends. So, the first thing I learned is that volunteer in this case also means mandatory, and the second lesson I learned is your planner is your best friend. I use to pride myself on my time management skills, but grad school homework is a whole new world. I also learned that professors will forever and always love the dreaded "group projects." Yes, even in graduate school teamwork and collaboration are heavily emphasized. I was not a commuter during my undergrad so for all you commuters out there, I feel your pain! For anyone who hasn't been to Boston traffic is your biggest foe. Driving is impossible some days so public transit is your best bet to get around on time, and avoid paying an arm and a leg for a parking spot. So getting together to do group projects can be tricky so an important tip I learned is to always plan for traffic! Another thing I learned in grad school is that your peers are your new best friends. Nobody knows what you're going through better than your cohort. Stay close with them, and don't hesitate to reach out. Even therapists need therapy! So vent to your peers as much as you want, and struggle through those late night papers together. The last thing I learned is don't forget about yourself. One of my professors takes five minutes out of every class to meditate with us, and she always says "be kind to your body for at least five minutes a day." Even when you're homework load is driving you up a wall don't skip the gym. Running for thirty minutes on the tredmill will do wonders to clear your head so you can tackle that next assignment. I could have told you all about the paper on Art Therapy I am writing, or the presentation on the Rorschach Ink Blot test I'm doing. However, I felt that these other things I learned were much more encompassing of what I have endured in my first month of grad school. I hope everybody has a great month, and also has some great experiences to share about their first few weeks of school!
PS: Posting this with summer photo to give us all a little motivation to make it through this first semester!