So, as I have already addressed I am an MPA student at CU Denver. I am completely online and asynchronous, so my experience is going to be different from traditional courses. I busted my ass this year for sure!
You know what feels the most weird? How fast the program is going. My goal was to complete the program in 2 years and that means 9 credits/3 classes a semester, which is over the recommended full-time status. In undergrad, it seems so much longer, and it actually took me 5 years to finish. Also, I would take 5-6 classes a semester and there were struggles but nothing like what I feel right now.
I cannot agree enough how right everyone is when they say that grad school is that much harder. Now … Yes, the course content is hard but I’m pretty sure it is compounded with the fact that 1) I am older now, 2) I can’t stay up until 3am finishing homework anymore, and 3) it is completely online. *My sister pointed out that I am social in class settings, which is true, therefore it makes it harder for me connect with both the content and the classmates.
I’ve met and connected with a few women through this program and I really appreciate their insight and their friendship. One is located in California and the other moved from California to Colorado in order to be closer to the school. We video chat often and keep communication lines open through text. It has dramatically helped my mood in school. It makes a huge difference to work on projects together and complain when it doesn’t make sense or its hard, haha.
During my first semester, I had a considerable amount of help from a very good friend. She double majored in English and Political Science at UH Hilo – and also works for the government. With her background, and her kindness, she got me started. Listen, when you come from an English undergrad background, you fall into the category of most people who don’t understand how government works, lol. She was a huge asset to me during the Fall semester and I am wholly grateful for the boost she gave me.
During the spring semester, I had no help … and I did it alone (no shade to my friend at all, life caught back up and we both had different obligations). Without her help during the fall to get me adjusted and transitioned back into school along with some small lessons of government fundamentals, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
When I first started the program, I was scared and had imposter syndrome – this was not going to be a good place for me and I would not be successful at this. But, I got a 4.0 this semester. Each discussion post, my own complete ideas and thoughts, and each paper written, were 100% my own. The one thing I learned, and value the most through this first half of my grad school journey, is that I am capable and this is exactly where I should be.
My experience thus far has been amazing and exhausting. I have a summer course that I start on Monday, and I am a little upset that my plans got derailed and am now forced to go to school in order to graduate on time. However, it worked out well because the course is Effective Grant Writing in Public Admin and Nonprofits – which is the only concentration course I absolutely wanted to take for very obvious reasons and it is only being offered this summer!! Blessings on blessings on blessings.
Happy Curl, Happy Girl
Curly Island Girl