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December 16, 2010 / Christian M.

Coming Up for Air….So I Survived My First Semester

Two courses down, at least ten more to go. What a relief to have this fall semester finished. Now I just have to wait for my grades to see just how well I finished.

Things that I learned:

  • Time management is important. No really, it is. That lovely color-coded weekly schedule that I made should have been utilized beyond the first week of school. It is so easy to get caught up in other things, especially when working fulltime and trying to “have a life.” One of my best friends (who is also in grad school) made a good point: school should be viewed as your second job. Just like you have a set schedule to fulfill your responsibilities to your employer, you should also have a set schedule for studying and fulfilling your responsibilities for your classes. Just fitting it in wherever does not cut it – trust me, I know.
  • Never work most of the day, and then take two 2.5 hour classes back-to-back. It seemed like such a wonderful idea in the beginning – to just have to go to campus once a week …. but it ended up being very exhausting. Especially since I also had to use public transportation to get from work to school, and from school to home. Not only is there physical exhaustion from not having much of a break between work and class, but also mental stress because everything for both classes is due on the same day. Next semester I am still taking two courses, but they will be on separate days.
  • Reading is fundamental. It is very tempting to skip the assigned readings when you don’t have the time—excuse me, don’t make the time, but they really are helpful for those class discussions when everyone is expected to share their thoughts on the issues at hand. I have learned that class lectures only provide a fraction of the necessary information about the course subject. One of my professors required us to blog about our readings, in which we provide a summary, our comments, and a question for class discussion. Although I may not continue to blog all my readings, writing a summary and response definitely helps me better understand and formulate my own opinion.

Well, you live and learn. Next semester provides the opportunity for a fresh start. But right now, I’m just going to enjoy my break. 🙂


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