Amanda Kopil: My next steps after graduating from Albright

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Graduate classes take up A LOT of my time! Well, to reflect on my past 2 weeks I must acknowledge the little time that I have now to myself. I am driving an hour to get to work on campus everyday (was 45 minutes but traffic is always present) and an hour back. I am not used to that at all, Albright was only roughly 15 minutes away from me! As far as work goes, I really enjoy everything that I do so far. I am slowly putting together the Science Olympiad event that is in the spring. I have to constantly be in communication with my supervisor and other professors that run the event as well. I never did event planning before but it is a lot of work and takes a lot of organization and communication with all parties. I enjoy learning new skills like this, however.

My classes are going very well. My favorite is, naturally, my environmental sustainability course that I am taking on campus. We have awesome discussions and the class is actually very small so the interaction with professor to student is ideal. I am noticing that in graduate school, the professor does not give as much stress on homework or rarely any tests. What they do expect is for you to understand quickly and know exactly what we are talking about.

As for my two online courses, they are going smoothly. It is very difficult to “communicate” or get an understanding for the professor when you don’t get to meet them. Sometimes you can get to drift of how a professor likes the class to flow or what he/she expects just by face-to-face interactions. I have learned to use ALL of my resources to solve this matter. By communicating with the other students on a separate “Questions” discussion board, it gives a way for all of the students to relate to your questions or concerns and the professor acknowledges your input.

As for managing your time in graduate school, keep calm and keep a well-organized planner. I write everything down and make sure that I check it a couple times a day. Another tip that I have learned is to make your assignments “due” on paper a day or two before they are actually due. This tricks yourself into ensuring that homework and readings get finished and maybe you will end up with a day or two free! Time management is a skill that is crucial to acquire in graduate school.

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