First Month of Grad School

When I came up with the title “First Month of Graduate School”, I wanted to speak on (obviously) the events that has happened, the school work, my job, the lack of sleep I’ve gotten, etc. However, the more I thought of this title the more I knew I could do more with it. Yes, school has been rough for me and it’s a huge adjustment. But that’s graduate school: the reading, the writing, the late nights, the all-nighters & then having to work and make time for my passion.

Do I love school? No, I will never love school lol. But I’m learning an enormous amount of information that will prepare me for my future, so I won’t complain about school.

I want to fully focus on me, and how I’ve been during my first month. Especially since I moved to a whole different city. My close friends knew the whole summer I couldn’t wait to move, and not to get away from everyone. But I simply just wanted something new. I craved to be in a new setting, seeking new adventures. So, I moved to Hampton and it’s only an hour and fifteen minutes away from Richmond, but it’s so different.

So, here’s a list of different things I’ve learned or either felt during my first month of graduate school:

1. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Richmond though, I miss the little things like Wawa. The Wawa near my house in Hampton? It’s so civilized, unlike the Wawa near my house in Richmond on Brook Road, which is not technically ghetto but depending on the time of the day it’s interesting.

2. I also miss my friends in Richmond. It’s hard being away from people you’re used to seeing all the time. I also have zero friends here, well I have one, but I have no real girl friends here, so I’m lonely and bored on the weekends I choose to stay in Hampton. I talk to people in my classes but it’s just that, in my classes. Then we live all over the tidewater area so it’s hard to make plans in a city that’s neutral for us.

– This past weekend I hung out with an old friend who I haven’t seen in about five months, which was nice and refreshing. But it probably won’t happen again.

3. Living in Hampton has taught me patience though. The drivers here are slow and I run into traffic about three times a week because I travel to Norfolk for school. I’m at the point now where I just play my music and have a mini concert in my car. Therefore, the traffic won’t put me in a terrible mood.

– I love the city of Hampton though, it’s plenty of things to do and places to explore I just must take advantage of it.

4. This past month I have constantly been taken out of my comfort zone, which is wonderful. I’ve always had this fear of speaking in front of people, no matter how many times I’ve done it. I’ve held executive board positions in undergrad and have done a million presentations but still, I’m terrified. It’s one of those fears where you know you must do it, so you do. Well because of my Graduate Assistantship on campus here at ODU, I’m beginning to become more comfortable with speaking in front of larger groups. I host workshops, class visits, and personal appointments and all of those have giving me the comfortability I need. I’m not saying my fear is completely gone, but I’m becoming more comfortable.

5. My faith is still pretty strong. That’s another thing I miss about Richmond, my church. I watch the sermons live or catch up on their app but it’s still not the same as sitting in the sanctuary. But that doesn’t interfere with my faith and relationship with God.

6. I changed my career path and goals. Well, kind of. I didn’t really change it. I just added to it. Which I’ll reveal later because a plan to accomplish everything is still in the works.

7. I wrote a piece on Black Youth Incarceration in Virginia and how they lack the proper education resources & how they are a target. It challenged me to write about a piece that’s not a memoir. I’ve never been so inspired in my life. (A huge thank you to Darryn and Maya!). But it’s one thing to write about it and not do anything about it. So, a plan to help our black youth who are in juvenile “detentions” is in motion.

8. I’ve fallen in love with goal setting: yearly, monthly, and weekly. Also, everyday I make it a point to write down five things I’m grateful for. Both keep me aligned with my goals, passion, and purpose in this life.

9. Lastly, but surely not least, I started writing my first book. I’m not telling you the synopsis of it or the title (mainly because I’m still working on a title) but just know it’s in the works. And I’m so excited to finally start working on it.

I realized, I’ve complained so much about a great number of things and instead of complaining, I need to be grateful. Things could be worse than what they are, and they aren’t. I also realized that fear and doubt can’t live in my life anymore. At one point I almost lost sight of MY goals because of my complaining, my fear, and my doubt. Never again.

This graduate school life is not easy but it will be worth it. I just have to remember the end game.

However, my biggest lesson, was to continue to pour into my passion even when I’m tired and to find motivation even when I’m going through things.

(To all of my graduate students click here to read an article I think will be very beneficial to us!)

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