Friday, 31 March 2017

WHAT I WISH I KNEW IN SEPTEMBER

THE GRAD SCHOOL GUIDE

BY: HAYLEY MAE JONES

Hi all! I know most of you are expecting an Object of the Week article, but for my last post I wanted to share something personal.

The second year of my Masters Degree has been spent in the city of Ottawa at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. I was offered a job after my internship last summer and jumped on the opportunity.  I contacted all of my professors before the school year started, and worked out a plan for each of my classes. This allowed me to complete my Museum Studies courses from Ottawa.

Being away from the ischool, working full time, and being a full-time student has been overwhelmingly rewarding. However, I wish I had known a few things before I started this process. In this article I would like to share what I wish I had known back in September.


1. Your Classmates are Going Through the same Coursework - TALK TO THEM!


School is stressful, and overwhelming at the best of times.  You will probably be dealing with quite a few emotions throughout the school year.

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Being in a different city, I didn't have many student friends who I could vent to about school troubles.  I wish I had reached out to my classmates sooner. They are amazing people to talk to and are going through the same coursework.  It would have alleviated so much of my stress if I had just skyped them more often.


2. Your Schedule will be Crazy

If you choose to follow this path, you will be exhausted. Many nights will be spent working on papers and reading texts. The last weeks of the semester will be awful, but you will get through it. Figure out a schedule that works for you, and stick with it throughout the semester. 

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I found that I could not be productive during the week, unless I gave myself an hour to exercise between work and school. I also found that using either Saturday/Sunday to catch up on anything I missed was the best solution. Whatever you do remember to schedule in time for yourself, because self care is important. 


3. It Happens...

Despite your best attempts to avoid drama, there will come a time when drama occurs. For me it happened in second semester when my apartment flooded and I broke my tailbone. 

Life always finds a way to keep things interesting.  Take it one step at a time and don't freak out (you will probably freak out, but try not to).  If life ever takes a major turn, and you need help, talk to your faculty adviser. 


4. Your Professors Understand

There will be times when you think you are not doing as well as you could be. There will be times when you question your sanity.  There will be times when you can't remember how to spell your own name (I seriously forgot).


Remember your professors understand that you are in an odd situation. They support you. If ever you are in a situation where you need advice, they are experts in the field and in the ischool.  I reached out to my professors, and together we were able to put together a special studies class to help ensure I earned the required number of credits.  This saved my masters degree.


5. Your Syllabus is Gold.

You don't have weekly classes, or classmates to help remind you of assignments. Your syllabus is worth its weight in gold, check it regularly.  I am serious.



6. It Will be Worth it in the end


This experience has been one of the most rewarding ones I have had. I was able to work within a Museum I love, on projects that have helped me grow as a professional.  Although it has been challenging I have gained practical experience, and newfound knowledge.  I highly recommend this experience to anyone interested. 

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This will be my last post as a student at the ischool.  It has been a pleasure writing for Musings, and I want to thank everyone for all your support these past two years. It has been a blast!

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