Getting your Masters in Public Health.
I’ve always known I wanted to go to college-always. It was not an option. I never thought I’d like it so much that I would want to stay in this alternate world known as academia. You feel as thought time has stood still and you are at it’s mercy. Is it different than undergraduate yes and no. Here is what I wish they would’ve told me before I went to grad school.
#1 Remember cramming for tests and putting things off and not learning just kind of letting air seep between your ears-that ain’t gonna fly. This is important stuff, you need learn the methods, know the methods and live the methods. My best advice, type them furiously on a laptop in lecture and every night after class-rewrite them. Trust me, it’s way easier to look back and read a cute journal than it is a laptop.
#2 Take care of yourself. Have a group of friends in your department, and have some outside of your department, it is healthy and necessary to collaborate and meet new people outside of your department. Also it is likely they have common and different hobbies that will be a great way for you to get out there and rock climb and bike and run new trails with cool people.
#3 You have a job. Yes you are in school, your school is your job. Take it seriously, set work hours for yourself-set an alarm-whatever it takes. The harder you work in your hours, the more fun and the happier you will be after a good solid day of good work during healthy hours. If you are a night owl–sleep all day, work all night, just be sure there is a balance, that you are getting some sun, and that your meals subsist on more than a bowl of cereal in the lab…ergh I mean outside the “lab”.
#4 Save money on going out and learn to love pasta, oatmeal, and Winco!
#5 Make connections with your professors, they have incredible stories and they will be your allies and your coworkers someday. Don’t be afraid to ask them to coffee or have them join a group after class for a beer, the worst that can happend is they will smile and say no.
#6 Have hobbies outside of classwork and research. I am a strong believer every human should have atleast one bike (I have three and they are all babied and loved like pets)
#7 If you have a bicycle, always have a bike rack, panniers, bike lights, a spare tube, pump and patch kit. These should always be in your bag, for you or a fellow man down.
#8 Grocery shop atleast once a week, veggies and fruits are cheap in bulk and great to have around the office. I always have peanut butter, granola, yogurts and coffee around the office just in case time runs out between classes for a bite to eat.
#9 Download the app Wunderlist, it is a lifesaver. It connects to your phone and computer. It lets you make easy checklists (saves stickie notes) and it lets you save on going lists so you can plan out codes for classes and your running groucery and tasks lists for the weekdays and weekend.
#10 Make friends with the second year students if you’re a first year and the first years if you’re further in your degree, it’s great to share what you have learned and to mentor other students and it’s great to meet those that have gone through all of the crazy trials you are going through. Hang in there, you’re doing great. You are so lucky and this is such an amazing experience-cherish it, every last literature review…