Now that I am home in NC for the summer, I’ve had quite a few people ask me about graduate school. How is it? Are you enjoying it? What are you studying? How did you end up in Missouri?
While I can’t really provide a good answer for why I decided to move 1,000 miles away from everything I’ve ever known, I can tell you why I’m in graduate school and my experiences in it.
I applied very late for graduate school. In January 2009, I came to the realization that it was my final year at ECU, and that I needed to start looking for job immediately. Looked at journalism jobs–nothing. Looked at event planning jobs–some caught my eye, but I didn’t feel that I be ready for it. Then I started thinking about graduate school. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and it wasn’t until the urging of my SAB advisor that I decided to get into Student Affairs/Higher Education.
I selected three schools in North Carolina to apply to: Western Carolina University, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and ECU. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided on the University of Missouri to submit an application. I had actually known about Mizzou because of their ranking in Journalism and because I had a COMM professor at ECU that went there as well. I decided to apply. I got in.
I ended up only applying to Western and Mizzou, and got into both. I visited WCU and just didn’t like it; not because it was a bad school or I didn’t like it–I just didn’t feel like I fit in. I chose Mizzou because it felt like home when I arrived for assistantship interviews. I loved it there and I’m still enjoying it.
Graduate school was meant for me. So, to answer the question I get asked so many times, yes, I am enjoying graduate school. I am studying higher education and student affairs because I want to serve as a mentor, advisor, advocate and friend for students who choose to enter post-secondary education. My time at ECU changed my life for the better, and I cherish every moment of it. I want to make sure that every student that I encounter is given that opportunity to experience college in that way–not just to see it as getting a degree and finding a job, but to have an entire experience that will carry on with them forever.