I’ve reached the one-week mark of my first semester as a graduate student in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Department of Library and Information Studies.
For those who have followed this blog for the last year or so, you may have read my writings about going back to school to obtain my master’s in library and information studies. Last spring, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and apply. First, I took the MAT, which along with the GRE, is one of the major standardized tests required for admission into graduate school.
I was initially admitted for the fall 2017 semester, but ultimately decided it would be in my best interests to begin in the spring. I’m taking LIS 600- Foundations of Library and Information Studies and LIS 650- Library Administration and Management.
Without question, the biggest adjustment I’m still getting used to is that my program is mostly online. I’m classified as a main campus student, but one of my courses was switched to online only since there was such a low number of students to sign up for the main campus course. It’s tough to go home after a long day of work and sit in front of a computer screen for nearly three hours. Thankfully, I have some great professors that make the course material interesting. There is also a lot of interaction through our discussions and group assignments, so it never feels like I’m in a solo vacuum.
Graduate school is far different than undergraduate for several reasons, but the biggest change is that majority of my assignments consist of reading and writing papers. I love reading, but now I’m reading with more attentiveness to detail. The writing aspect hasn’t really kicked in yet, but my friends with master’s degrees have told me that I should have nothing to worry about as long as I manage my time properly.
I’ll admit that my time management skills are not the best. To improve in this area, I read each syllabus and wrote down every due date of my weekly assignments, papers, and group projects in an old-school weekly planner (I don’t do well with electronic calendars). This way I have no excuse for missing any deadlines. My professors and other students in the program have stressed the importance of not getting behind.
Instead of watching television and relaxing on the days I don’t have class, I will now use this time to get a jump start on my reading for the upcoming week.
Sometimes I think I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew by starting off with two courses instead of one, but I know I can do this. I have a great support system of family, coworkers, and friends who want to see me succeed. And thank God for my wife who always encourages me, even when I don’t want to hear it, to not waste time in getting my work done. She’s a keeper!
They say it takes a village to raise a child and it’s going to take all the support and encouragement in the world to help me cross this finish line.
After graduating college in 2008 I never thought I’d be going back to school a decade later to study librarianship, but here I am trying to make my dreams come true. If I can take the first step in this journey then so can you in whatever dreams you’re trying to achieve.