10 Things I’ve Learned in Grad School (So Far)

10. If you hated group projects in k-12 and as an undergrad and during your master’s program…well, guess what? You’ll still hate them as a doctoral student. Gah. I get the value of teamwork, I do, but I have three assigned partners, none of whom are within a 45 minute drive for me, so we are doing no together work and I’d just rather do the thing myself.

9. Don’t assume you can find an open cafeteria or food shop at 8pm on a weekday night during the summer. Assuming this means you end up eating dinner out of a vending machine.

8. There is a know-it-all in every class. If you can’t identify that person, pull out a mirror, jackass.

7. Forget free lunch. There really is no such thing as free parking on a university campus. Sigh. Between the vending machine and the parking, every time I go to class I end up spending at least $10. Thank goodness we don’t meet every week.

6. How much reading is there. SO MUCH. How much do you need to do to avoid looking stupid in class? Something less than so much. *cough* I hear, I mean. Because of course I’m getting it all done. *cough*bullshit.*cough*

5. Sometimes you will read things and feel super dumb. I stared at this sentence from my actual textbook for a long, long, long time trying to make sense of it: “One or other forms of constructionism is the epistemology found, or at least claimed, in most other perspectives other than those representing positivist or post-positivist paradigms”. Huh?

4. You will hear the word paradigm a lot.

3. Sometimes you’ll read research that seems to spend 37 pages to come to a really, really obvious conclusion (oh, so poor students take out more loans than middle class students? Who knew!) and then you’ll feel both briefly smart and then annoyed you read 37 pages.

2. If you are working and going to school and have a family, you will feel, very quickly, like you are doing a half-assed job keeping up with everything in all those areas. The mantra “two years, two years, two years” might help with this.

1. Grad school isn’t about how smart you are as much as it is about how much endurance you have. Endurance and time management.


And coffee.


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