What I've learned in the past few months being a grad student at AUP...
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss
It’s not always easy being away from home, on your own, especially getting your Masters degree where you spend most days either in class or with your head in a book. I’ll admit being in Paris makes me happy, but it is sad that I do not get out as much as I would like to see more of the city and experience more of the culture. It has been awhile since I’ve written an article for multiple reasons but none of my reasons are for lack of wanting to write, or because I am not doing well here and do not have anything to share with you.
I am doing quite well here in the beautiful city of Lights and Love. I am still in my wonderful apartment down the street from the Eiffel Tower… living my very own dream come true! I really do love it here. But being a graduate student is nothing like being an undergrad, and being a graduate student abroad makes the task even more challenging. By the end of last semester I was so overwhelmed and exhausted just trying to keep from drowning in all of the readings, 15-10 page papers, and final exams. It honestly felt like there were really not enough hours in the day, and the more stressed out I get, the less I get done and the more I want to sleep, which is just a vicious, vicious cycle when you think about it. So after going back to Dallas for the Christmas holidays I am back in Paris refreshed and a lot more knowledgeable and experienced with how to manage my life, my time, and my happiness here in Paris.
So with this being my first article I have written in awhile, and the fact that I am a few weeks into my second semester studying for my Masters in Global Communication at the American University in Paris I thought I would share some of what I learned the hard way last semester…
- Do not make to do lists that go on and on. Yes, there are a million things I would like to get done today but if I sit here all day long making lists of things I need to do, nothing will actually get done and I will be so overwhelmed looking at all of it, it will stress me out… (see vicious cycle above) Send 1 email making an appointment for office hours with your professor, go by the bank and pay your rent, read one thing you need to read, but always, always, always go to class!
- Try to keep your apartment clean and organized. We all live in tiny apartments or dorms while we’re studying abroad and it’s very easy to say, oh I’ll do it later, or oh it’s not that messy in here yet, but keeping things neat and organized is very simple and the less your place is cluttered and messy, the less clutter and mess will be in your brain. So, wash the dish after you use it and put it away, it really takes 30 seconds. Take 2 minutes and sweep the floor or vacuum. Put things back where you found them so when you need them again they are right where they should be.
I have many more tips and tricks that I have learned since I got to Paris but this was one thing I wanted to do today, and now it’s done so I’m going to read the chapter I need to read before class in 2 hours. As we say in Paris À bientôt!