Surviving Your First Semester of Grad School

As of December 16th (yes I'm a month late on this) I successfully completed my first semester of grad school!

Overall, it wasn't so bad. The classes weren't exactly thrilling this semester, but I didn't feel like the school load was overwhelming, except for a few times. Honestly, the start of it was more stressful just because I was unsure whether I could handle it. I remember looking ahead on my schedule wondering how I would survive through October. As soon as it started though, it was suddenly over. I guess it takes a little bit of confidence in yourself to trust you can get the job done. I mean what more is school then to show up and try, right? Plus studying of course...and reading..oh and writing..well you get the point!

Here are the three courses I took this past fall semester:

- Research Methods in Foods & Nutrition: yes almost as boring as it sounds, however, I can see how this information would be extremely useful even for those that don't think they will go into research. plus the professor was one of my favorites!

- Regression Analysis & Other: aka Statistics aka excel spreadsheets. Not sure how I made it through it, but I did and can even say that I feel semi confident in statistics. just semi though.

- Nutrition Education: i really didn't know what to expect for this course, but I was pleasantly surprised. Mostly because the professor invited some interesting speakers, and I learned more on how to counsel clients (wish we had done ever more in this area!). It did include a lot of dry material on educating, but again I can see the importance of it.

So the classes were a bit dull, but that doesn't mean not extremely important. They all consisted of a group and individual project, with only one having a midterm. So this past semester was a lot of writing and group meetings and less memorizing/test taking.

In addition to class, I tried to get involved with anything that sounded interesting. My first stop was the community garden on campus. I was so excited when I found out there was one on campus. I volunteered there almost every week since August and look forward to getting more involved this upcoming spring! I also assisted a few other grad students with their thesis. This was mostly just tedious food logging, but it gives me good experience in research which I have not much experience in. Other than that I attended a few nutrition meetings on campus + volunteered for Stop Hunger Now which was a lot of fun and for a good cause so yay! Oh and I almost forgot. I also helped cook some meals for an after school care nearby. Basically, I tried to get out there and dabble in a few random things to see what does or doesn't spark my interest. Hoping to see some potential interesting volunteer opportunities in the spring so we shall see how those go!

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