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Second year...a little different

The process of graduate school can be likened to owning and/or wearing several pairs of glasses. Sure, this sounds weird, but hear me out.  Last year, as a brand spanking new graduate student here at the College, the lenses I wore were pretty amorphous.  As a result of this “newness,” much of what I focused on revolved around getting accustomed to living in a new region of the country, a new state, city, and a new climate (weather wise and school climate).  I can recall during the annual picnic, orientation, and  the first few weeks of class, wanting to get involved in anything and everything; from various student associations, to the journal, coed sports and other on-campus activities.  As time wore on, these desires began to wane.  The idea I had conceptualized in my mind, of me feeling as if I had to get involved in as many school-related-resume-boosting activities as possible quickly took a backseat to more important things, things such as: finding a more appropriate work/life balance, concentrating on a few key areas relating to my academic and personal interests, and spending more time networking and building relationships through opportunities at the school and on main campus.  If you’re a first year student approaching the halfway point of your first year as a graduate student, I want to remind you that if you’re feeling as if you have to get involved in as many organizations as possible…stop.  You don’t.  Instead, focus on quality, quality organizations and activities that serve a dual purpose by adding pleasure and joy to your life but also contributing to your overall level of happiness and professional/academic success.  You’ll be graduating before you know it, so spend your time wisely.