Navigating Second Year Changes

Navigating Second Year Changes

by Nellie Dennis on September 3, 2014
Navigating Second Year Changes

While starting my second year in graduate school here at Niagara University, I thought I had a grasp on exactly what to expect. Knowing that my first year was pretty straightforward; exams, papers, weekly assignments and readings. Nothing new to any student, right? Well, diving into this year was a wake-up call. Not only has school been a bit difficult, but the realization that the beginning of my career being right around the corner hit me like a wall.

All of these emotions, or as some call them roller coaster feelings, were not all negative by any means! I was incredibly motivated to begin my internship, meet new and see past professors and even be surrounded by some amazing friends in this program. Although, with all of the positives came more work that was not only more elaborate but time consuming.

Coming into the fourth week of our fall semester, I have already learned very quickly how to use every free second of my time. A typical week for me is completing at least 20 hours for my graduate assistant position, up to 15 hours at my internship in Tonawanda, and four three-hour classes per week. This is not including a LIFE, sleeping, meals or any of the online/offline assignments needed to be completed! By all means, this is not something I can sugar coat, along with the fact that this is going to be one of my easier semesters, but it is all about time management and self-wellness!

Free time is far in between while you are taking any form of educational course, but there are tips I have learned to get me through the dreaded week. First of all, heading to bed as early as I can will always set me up for an easier day! I am also a tea drinker (maybe some coffee). Next, I generally map out what kind of week I am going to have to prepare myself to complete the little tasks whenever I have a free second. Lastly, and most important, planning things to look forward to over the weekend and even some rest and relaxation can go further than you realize! That hour-long cuddle session on your couch with a blanket and a movie is something I think we all could use!

The motivation to build the career I have been working so incredibly hard for is the biggest thing keeping me going. Along with my family, my friends and professors have been so supportive! But mostly knowing I am doing this all for me is the most rewarding feeling, and I wouldn't have it any other way.