One Month Down: Grad School Reflections

Hey everyone!

For today’s post, I thought I’d take a look back at the last month that I’ve spent in grad school. I finished undergrad in May 2017, and I started a M.A. program this fall in public relations.

The program I’m in is only a year long, so it’s broken into modules instead of semesters, which makes it pretty intense. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting, but it’s a combination of things. The program is really intense, and can be difficult. Some things I am really struggling with (like my Photoshop class). Other things I am genuinely enjoying to the point of them not feeling like assignments (like event planning and PR plans).

Time Management:
One thing I didn’t miss was how much time school takes up! There’s two nights of the week I spend in class, which doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re trying to cram everything into a day, the time slips by. I’ve definitely had to try to relearn time management. I was great at it in my undergrad, but nowadays I find myself struggling more.

One of the major things I’ve had to learn is that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I can’t do all of my homework, and complete assignments for work, and prep all my blog posts, and clean my house, and then go bartend or make it to class. I have to do a little bit each day, or dedicate one day to each pursuit. I’m still struggling with this idea, but I have to say I’m learning to accept it more.

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I’m OBSESSED with my Happy Planner! It helps keep me in line with everything I have going on. 

 

SELF CARE IS MANDATORY! 
I’m also learning how valuable time is. Why waste it watching hours of netflix when I could be prepping blog posts or working on a project? If I’m using my time for something else, it’s because I have made a conscious decision that it’s necessary self care. Watching one episode of a great show with a candle, or reading a magazine to relax. The couple hours I get in the morning to do devotionals and to go to the gym are KATE TIME and those are not negotiable things. Sometimes I have to verbally tell myself that I am only human, and I am allowed to spend time taking care of my body, mind, and soul.

Everything comes to an end.
Just as the good things unfortunately end, so does the stress. By August 2019, I will have a master’s degree. It’s less than a year,  and like I tell myself, you can do ANYTHING for a year. It’s just a matter of balance and willpower, and some days are harder than others, but I find that as long as I keep my eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, things feel a little lighter.

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These are my reflections so far. I’m about halfway through module 1, so we’ll see how I’m feeling come Thanksgiving/Christmas when I’m gearing toward the end of Module 2 (There’s 6 of them.)

Are you in grad school? Do you have any tips?! PLEASE let me know! Thanks!

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How To STOP Caring So Much About What Other People Think!

Hey everybody!

On Monday, I talked about why we all care so much what other people think about us. Not that I have an exact explanation, but I have my theories. I felt like it only made sense to follow up with how to STOP caring about what other people think.

Disclaimer: I do NOT have this down pat. I definitely still care way too much, and I hate that I do, but these are some things that I do when I catch myself being too aware of the rest of the world.

1. Remind yourself of the people whose opinions actually matter.

This is a smaller list than you think. Of course, the only one who actually has to be happy with yourself is you, and you are entitled to cut out any toxic people who make you feel badly, and no one is allowed to tell you how to live your life. That being said, there are a few people whose opinions I value, and genuinely care what they think and have to say, and I try to live my life in a way that they will respect and be proud of. Just as an example, here’s my list:
-God. My parents. My grandparents.  My boyfriend. My best friends.

Yeah, that’s it. The guy sitting in traffic next to me? The couple in front of me in line at the store? The girls in my class? Doesn’t matter. Decide on your own list, and run through it in your mind in moments you find yourself caring too much about how you appear.

2. Ask yourself what consequence you’re really trying to avoid.

If this random person is actually judging you as you think they are, what’s the consequence of that? What exactly are you trying to avoid? Are you afraid of being ridiculed publicly? Are you afraid of people talking badly behind your back? Are you afraid of losing friends? Are you just afraid of that judgy thought existing in someone’s mind? Try to really narrow it down. And then…

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Okay, so the thought process doesn’t have to be THIS in depth, but you get the idea! 

3. Ask yourself if that consequence would really be so bad.

Being ridiculed in public would be really embarrassing, but would your life end, or would you be afraid to leave your house? If people are talking badly about you behind your back, are they really the petty, negative individuals you want to be impacting your life? Because they probably aren’t giving what you think of them a second thought. If your friends would abandon you over whatever decision you’re trying to make, are they really the supportive, loving people you need in your life anyway? Do you see where this is all going?

4. DON’T STOP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING! 

This can manifest in a number of ways, but all of them definitely require stepping out of your comfort zone, so get ready. If you’re worried about people judging you for listening to Hannah Montana at top volume with your windows down, resist the urge to side glance at drivers next to you and turn the radio lower. Just keep rocking out and ignoring. On the other end, if you’re worried about people judging you for leaving a graduate school program, but you’re sure the decision is right for you, then just make it. Everyone will get over it, and that decision impacts YOUR life, NOT theirs.

It’s a lot of self-analysis, a lot of self-awareness, and a lot of stepping out of your comfort zone, but going through this thought process tends to help me when I’m really caught up with the world around me. This is exactly what I was going through when I was trying to decide if I wanted to start a blog. I ultimately decided it was worth it, put on my big girl pants, and said screw everyone else, I’m trying something new. And guess what? The world is still turning, I still exist, and everything is pretty okay.

I hope that was somewhat helpful! Let me know what you think, or if you have anything you do to help you stop caring so much about people’s opinions!

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I know this is cheesy, okay, I just felt like it was necessary.