First Semester of Grad School – What I Really Learned

First semester of grad school is in the books (pun intended) and boy did I learn a lot. Sure, I learned scholarly things, but the biggest take-aways really surprised me:

  • I learned to be kind to myself. I am the biggest cheerleader for others, but when it comes to myself – I realized that I doubt my capabilities and often diminish my accomplishments. Right after mid-terms, I knew in order to survive the rest of the semester – I HAD to talk to myself differently. And so I did. My internal dialogue became much kinder and more forgiving – this was the greatest gift I could have ever given myself.
  • I learned that it is OKAY to let things (especially chores) slide. It is OKAY for the laundry to pile up, for the dishes to sit in the sink, and to not change my bed sheets every week (I know mom is cringing about that one). I was beating myself up for not being able to ‘do it all’ and these unrealistic expectations I had for myself served no purpose…except to stress me out and make me feel like a failure. It will all get done. Maybe not as quickly, maybe not as perfectly, but it WILL get done. And it’s okay to let it slide in the meantime…
  • I learned how to ask for help. This was a big one for me. Not only is it okay, but the people in my life actually enjoyed and WANTED to help. I’m guessing I put this off for so long because I was afraid to admit that I needed help. The truth is – I can’t do it all by myself. Not 100% of the time. And that is OKAY! I learned to outsource and lean on others when I could…and WOW! What an impact this made on my daily well-being. I only wish I had asked sooner.

One down; six more to go (semesters that is) and as much as I’m enjoying this winter break – I’m pretty excited to see what’s in store for spring! Oh, and to toot my own horn – last semester, I made straight A’s 😉

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