I know I risk sounding like a seasoned Mom, but I don’t mind sharing my disbelief in the first week of grad school flying by along with the reminiscence of my grad school application jitters. Even though I did a great job of accounting for all of my course work last week still left me feeling very nervous and flustered by all of the due dates. Thus to get out most of those nerves I went back to the drawing board to work out a few kinks. Here are my worries, solutions, and reminders to help me tackle my time as a grad student:
Throughout the MLS program:
- Getting a 4.0 and carrying it throughout the LIS program.
- Forming long-lasting relationships with TWU students, faculty, and staff.
- Becoming prepared not only educationally but professionally so I may move onto a position that will propel me on the track to becoming a university library Dean.
- Finding ways to stay energized while juggling both grad school and working full-time.
During the Fall 2016 Semester:
- Keeping up with ALL of my assignments.
- Getting the most out of my assignments.
- Providing valuable feedback for others.
- Building relationships with Librarians while carrying out some of my Fall Semester projects.
The Solutions and the Reminders
- The 4.0-Yes, it would be incredible to carry a 4.0 throughout the LIS program and know that YOU CAN DO IT, but if you want it that badly you will need to continue putting in the time and effort.
- Helpful Tip: Try applying your knowledge at CPC. By doing so you will be more prone to remembering that lesson since you’ve created an experience with that lesson in mind.
- Long-lasting Relationships- Even though you’re a Distance Learner, you can make solid connections. Typically you’re a shy person, but since grad school is about challenging yourself like you’ve never done before be sure to get out of your comfort zone and invest time in other students, faculty, and staff.
- Helpful Tip: An easy way to begin the process of building relationships is to read more about your classmates in the Blackboard discussion introductions. Also see if there are some classmates nearby and arrange a lunch with them if time allows. Additionally, be sure to reach out to your professors to learn about their journey in the library world.
- Educational and Professional Preparation-This worry is a little silly since you’ve already experienced and are deeply appreciative of the level of engagement and course work required by TWU SLIS. Take a load off and enjoy your time as a TWU Pioneer!
- Helpful Tip (Educational Preparation): Again, you are thrilled about the quality of your degree so take that worry off your plate and HAVE FUN!
- Helpful Tip (Professional Preparation): Be proactive in marketing yourself and building rapport with library professionals you meet.
- Helpful TWU Resources as laid out by Dr. Masten and the Online Pioneer Camp:
- TWU Libraries: http://www.twu.edu/library/
- SLIS Library Help: http://libguides.twu.edu/c.php?g=270126&p=3040711
- The Write Site and Online Writing Lab (OWL): http://www.twu.edu/write-site/
- Don’t Forget About Linda!: https://www.lynda.com/
- Study Guide Strategies: http://www.studygs.net/attmot4.htm & http://www.howtostudy.org/resources.php
- Counseling Center Online Workshops: http://www.twu.edu/counseling/online-workshops.asp
- TWU Connect for Career Services: http://www.twu.edu/career-services/default.asp
- Virtual Student Services Center in case you just don’t know who to contact: http://www.twu.edu/commuter/virtual-student-services.asp
- Staying Energized- This is going to be challenging no matter which endeavor you’re tackling, but know that you will find balance again. You got this!
- Helpful Tip: Refer to your schedule below if you’re falling off track during the day.
- Keeping Up- If you adhere to your hourly schedule you will have plenty of time for school work, sleep, exercise, and work.
- Helpful Tip: If you can get ahead in readings and projects don’t hesitate to do so.
- Getting the Most Out of it All- If you’re ever feeling lazy remember the following:
- You have worked so hard to get here – don’t get lazy now!
- You will never be in an MLS program again. As sad as that is it’s true, so savor the moment my friend.
- See each assignment, reading, and discussion as a new opportunity to potentially help someone out there in the real world.
- Valuable Feedback-
- Helpful Tips:
- Give yourself enough time to post something meaningful.
- Always provide links and resources in your discussions.
- Refer to “Getting the Most Out of it All” and you’ll quickly be reminded to stay motivated.
- Helpful Tips:
- Building Relationships- Remember all of your Annual Fund training? Yup, it’s going to come into play right here.
- Build that rapport!
- As exciting as it is to meet someone who has loads of experience, put that excitement aside and absorb all of the advice they offer.
- Have some back-up questions just in case.
- Show them gratitude for taking some time to meet with you.
- If appropriate, send a handwritten thank you note.
- Efficient Learning System- You’ve already put in enough time into getting prepared through planning and organizing all of your classes so relax and follow the program:
- Helpful Tip: Make a project/assignment sheet with all due dates (listed in order), formatting information, etc. See example below.
This officially concludes my reflection on the first week of grad school! Although I’m still a bit nervous I cannot escape the thrill and excitement to be learning so much from a wonderful University. Stay tuned for the next post tackling my school supplies!
For all you librarians or master’s students out there, do you have any tips on how you survived grad school?