When I entered grad school way back 2017, I still had my first job (and maybe, last?) after getting my license as an engineer. I can say that those times were the hardest! I thought of it to be smooth-sailing as I did multitasking when I was still in college. However, mental exhaustion is far more different and much higher in degree compared to physical exhaustion! Yes, having a Master’s degree can still spell job security, but many of my colleagues feel like our soon-to-be-degrees will be worthless slips of paper. Let me share to you in this post what lessons has Graduate School taught me so far which I would never learn in the classroom.
I have realized how much I have grown both as a student and as a person. Reflecting on the experience itself, I have emerged with a set of life skills which definitely do not appear in the course objectives (haha). If you are currently thinking of getting a graduate degree, take a few minutes to reflect on this post of what lessons has Graduate School taught me so far.
What Lessons has Graduate School Taught Me So Far?
1.Being different is great.
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? Entering grad school with the new program can be somehow challenging. Our batch had seen it as a risk. However, a little voice spoke to see it as an opportunity. With the new program, it required us to do something different, and with deciding to do different, I realized that there is always something to learn from the people around. So, never cease to ask questions and always be open to new challenges.
2. Don’t underestimate self-made deadlines.
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? This is the best advice I received from my undergrad thesis adviser, Dr. Gina A. de Guzman. It’s like creating fake deadlines and making them real for yourself. She didn’t tell me why, but I got to learn in the process. The key is looking at a task not on its entirety, but piece by piece. Surely it will make you sit down and work on it.
3. You can be a leader in so many ways.
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? When I was still in college, my idea of leadership was more of having the loudest voice and the power to rule over people, and lead them to do this and that. However, that idea changed when I entered grad school. It’s more on disciplining one’s self to have patience. It’s also about having the abilities to adapt to the new environment, to learn and listen.
4. Your greatest enemy is your lazy self.
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? One of the simplest pleasures in life is beating your lazy self. You think that it is simple, but it is not. However, the concept is pretty simple – Once you commit to doing something, no matter how small it is, follow through!
5. Learn from your mistakes, and of course, from others, too.
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? Learning from mistakes can save yourself a whole lot of time and effort. Every professor has different styles of teaching, and one has to find out how to adapt in it. If you see that one’s adaptation doesn’t work out, why repeat it?
6. Complaining leads you to nowhere.
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? It’s fine to complain, but complaining most of the time (finding fault in every opportunity and not doing anything about it) is something I don’t really like. When you complain, you create a negative mood state. That alone can hinder productivity.
7. Stay humble. There are better people than you.
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? Accept it. Some people are really better than you. However, take it positively. Never let their success make you unsuccessful. Let them motivate you. Surround yourself with people who give you inspiration, and stay away from those who don’t.
8. Engineering is fun and can make you millions, but…
What lessons has Graduate School taught me so far? Engineering is both fun and challenging, but I never see myself doing it full time. Thinking about the future, I want to land a wife-trepeneur job, busy tending to our own kids and business. I think it is more fun and challenging – and more fulfilling. 😉
Been there? Hopefully it isn’t just me.
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littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, M.S. student in Structural Engineering and a fur mom of four-legged babies. She writes about her experiences to inspire and educate.