First Year of Grad School..DONE!

I can't believe my first year of grad school is already behind me. It flew by you guys! It's a little terrifying how fast this is going. Before I know it I will be graduating and hopefully starting an internship. Ahhhh!

Overall, the year went well. Each semester (or month, lets be honest), presented itself with its own unique challenges, but I made it through them all and successfully completed two semesters. It is such a relief to know you are working on your dreams and how to achieve them. This time last year was filled with a lot of uncertainty and questions, but I couldn't be happier with my decisions that led me here!

With finals 2 weeks behind me, I've had some time to reflect and think of things that I'm either glad I did or wish I had done so here it goes:

1. Don't be shy! - This has always been a hard one for me. I'm naturally more reserved, so opening up to people takes a while. I am fortunate to attend a small program so by the second semester we had all gotten comfortable with each other. Still, I wish I had been a bit more outgoing during the first semester.

2. If you are struggling in a class, don't wait until the final to ask for help! - One class this semester really kicked my butt, but my stubbornness and embarrassment kept me from approaching my professor for help. I'm not sure how much it would've helped, but at least I would had used up all my options. Don't be embarrassed that a class is challenging for you. No one expects you to be good at everything, even if its in your field of expertise.

3. Ask your fellow classmates for help or advice. - If you are working on getting into a Dietetic Internship, you know how important getting volunteer hours is to securing a spot in an internship. Want to know the best places to gain volunteer hours in your area? Ask around! I have gotten several great suggestions or tips from other classmates that I wouldn't have heard about otherwise. Use your resources wisely.

4. Worry about yourself, and ONLY yourself. - When you become a part of a graduate program, especially if its small, it will be hard to not feed off of other peoples emotions or desires. Its great to use your classmates for ideas or opportunities, but only when it makes sense to you. Everyone has their own interests and goals. Just because someone is doing one thing, doesn't mean you need to start doing the same. Even if its a cool opportunity; if its not your thing or the timing isn't right for you, don't worry about. Determine what your goals are and work towards them. Trust that you know what is best for you, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

5. Enjoy it! - This was your decision. You wanted to go back to school to become an expert in your chosen field so embrace it and enjoy it. Don't let due dates, GPA, or competition beat you down. This will be hard, but relax. You got this, so try to enjoy the journey. It'll be over before you know it!

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