Reflections of …The Way I Used To Be

First let me express, that I would like to apologize for not blogging for a little while and for the lack of MLHR posts in general.  We have all been pretty busy, and I will be the first one to say  that I have fallen behind in my studies, and now am desperately trying to catch up (if you thought this would change from undergraduate you are mistaken…procrastination never gets old).

So I have been reflecting about how I felt this time last year, and how I feel right now.  To tell you the truth, I have felt that things have been a little easier.  I am only taking 2 classes, have no group projects, and PRAISE BE TO GOD that I am not taking statistics.  Last year, I thought I was in over my head.  I thought that maybe graduate school was a mistake.  I either needed more work experience, actual business experience, or maybe I was not cut out for graduate school.  There were so many different group projects.  Such a different kind of learning atmosphere and subjects than what I was used to in undergrad.  And plus, I will say it took me a little longer than the others to warm up to the cohort.  I was still stuck in a weird phase of “learning how to be an adult but not quite there”.  The general adjustment to graduate school on top of the coursework can be very challenging.  And let’s not forget about that horrible feeling of being rejected from employers, and thinking that you will never get an internship, and will fail out or have to do another year in the program, because no wants to hire you (sorry about the terrible run-on).  There were definite times I felt like dropping out.

As I just stated, I have thought this quarter to be a little easier.  Sure there is still a lot of reading, classes are still long, and I have this internship paper looming over my head.  I also am working more now.  I think this quarter has been less difficult, because I have a year’s worth of maturity (or whatever) from being in the program.  When you’re a first year, I feel like you are trying desperately to prove that you’re worthy to be in the program and that you can cut graduate school.  All that trying can cause a lot of stress.  After a year in the program, I am just more knowledgeable and feel by getting through the first year I have proven that I will be worthy of this diploma I will receive in June.  One of my first blogs said that I was taking 3 classes.  It is now going to be 2 (still need to tell my adviser and the professor).  I just know that I don’t have the time for my Independent Study, and I am not going to burn myself out just to prove myself.  This year I also chose to be just a dancer for BuckeyeThon, and not involved with the organization.  Same goes with the Ohio Union Activities Board (they don’t know this yet).  I don’t need to prove myself in being involved with these organizations anymore.  I still am participating in the dance marathon, and am the Leadership Chair of the MLHR Council.  I know next quarter will be hard with taking 3 classes, but I have gotten through 4 (about to be 5) quarters of graduate school and I will get through the next 2.  I call it a different kind of difficult…there are still challenges that I and the second years are having…they are just different from when we were newbies in the program.

All the first years though should still try really hard to be involved and do things that will challenge them.  No one likes stress, but it builds character and you’ll be prouder of yourself that you got through it all looking to the future now.  And I’m really jealous that you guys have tutors.

First Year Reflections

As I write this blog, I can proudly tell you that I have wrapped up my spring quarter and…most importantly MY FIRST YEAR OF GRADUATE SCHOOL.  I need to emphasize the latter in all capital letters, because there have been a couple of times where I wanted to drop out of the program or jump off a bridge with an anvil tied to my ankle.  If you asked Garren winter quarter of his senior year in college that he would be living in Columbus, with two roommates, working at the same job, and getting his Master’s of Labor and Human Resources he would have given you major side-eye (intense look of disapproval).

It is so weird looking back a year from now and realizing that I graduated from undergrad.  When I received my diploma, I literally had nothing going for me, because I did not receive my acceptance letter from the MLHR program until about 10 days after (I was using my diploma as a coaster because it currently was not doing anything for me).  Slightly over dramatic, but the MLHR program kind of saved my life.  Not that the degree rescued me from a fire, but I know that I would probably be jobless and living at home with my mother in Dayton which (love her to death) would have driven me insane.

This year has been quite a challenge for me.  As I have stated from previous blogs, the course load was way different then what I studied in undergrad.  Sometimes I felt like I was not cut out for the program and should have maybe have just gotten my master’s in communication or journalism.  I used to claim to my friends that I thought I was the “dumb one” of my cohort, and that when people probably got peeved when they found out they had group projects with me.  I realized that I was not the only person struggling with classes (not too sure about the latter).

It was also different in the friendships I formed.  The people in my cohort are very different than my friends (or actually vice versa because all of my friends I made pre-cohort are weirdos) that I made in undergrad.  Making friends like a first year in undergrad was definitely different than making friends as a first year in graduate school.  I have actually enjoyed making friends with people who are older and more mature then myself.  I think it has helped me to become more mature as a person…not older though.  I still refuse to tell people in my program my age, because I decided that I was not allowed to age anymore last year.

One thing I was surprised about was how much I was not boring this year.  I thought I was going to be super lame all of the time, and that my friends were going to make fun of me, but I was surprisingly more fun than what I intended to be.  Graduate school is not as painful as people think it is.  It is just another level of education that one has to adjust to.  I remember when I was in high school knowing I had to go to college if I ever wanted to be a successful human being, but also being nervous that I was not going to be smart enough to make it through undergrad (God bless freshman forgiveness though).  Graduate school is weird between the education levels, because you normally have 4 years of undergrad, 4-5 years of doctoral education, but you only have 2 years for graduate school.  Like someone explain to me how I have completed 50% of my graduate education within the span of 9 months?

I tend not to regret 99% of my life decisions, and this definitely would not be one of them.  I mean…I still don’t like people, but luckily I have learned that you do not have to like people to go into HR.  This DOESN’T mean I’m not a people person…I just prefer inanimate objects over the majority of the human population.

If I have any words I would like to give to my cohort they would be:

1. Good luck with internships!  Be you in Columbus, Texas, or Antarctica (I don’t think anyone is actually interning there) work hard and have fun (and Eric you are not allowed to be in the sun because I am tired of you, Jen, and David being darker than me).

2.  Make sure you keep updating your Facebooks and Twitters so that I can live vicariously through you (I will be in Columbus for the summer).

3.  Use this time to relax and re cooperate.  I think presentations, group papers, statistics, and FastCat were starting to take their toll on everybody these last few weeks and everyone’s moods were out of their normal sync.  Use this time to take an academic break, so that you can be rested to take the classes that make this program so awesome in the fall.  Read something that you…enjoy.  Knit, craft, bar hop, or do whatever you need to be rejuvenated.  I am actually not following my advice on this one, because I am taking summer classes FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE.  However, as I told a group member…I’m getting older, and if I take any time off I might not just come back.

I plan on still blogging about my internship and classes over the summer.  Columbus is quite fun during the warmer months.  I plan on blogging bi-weekly instead of weekly (so you will still have something to look forward to in the summer Fisher blog readers)!

As I click my heels and celebrate with my friends who are about to graduate from undergrad, good luck to every one and peace be with you.