Graduate School Experience

Last May, I graduated at St. Cloud State University summa cum laude, and I felt on top of the world. I felt like I finally knew who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. Boy, I was wrong.

Over the summer, I was a marketing intern for the State of South Dakota, and I completed many tasks and learned a few things. It was a good internship because it was 8-5, five days a week, paid $9.75 an hour, and I didn’t have to work weekends or holidays. I learned more about creating infographics and video editing as well. I wish I would have worked with other interns, but it was nice to be able to have one-on-one time with my supervisor.

After I completed the internship, I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, which is ranked one of the #1 cities in the United States in various magazines and newspapers. The city is about 100,000 people, and an hour north of Denver. The city had various creeks, trails, bike paths, and mountains, which makes it an ideal town for people who love to be outdoors (I like to ride my bike). The weather is also fairly temperate all year with the summers being warm and the winters being slightly cold, but not impossibly unbearable. The city also had a fun downtown area with lots of craft beer places as well (if you’re into drinking beer). I moved into my townhouse with another female my age whom I’d never met.

I started classes the last week of August. I was taking three classes at Colorado State University in the public communication & technology program: research methods, media theories, and an orientation class. I was in for a big surprise because graduate school is nothing like being an undergraduate. I was a graduate teaching assistant, and the program paid for my tuition and gave me a monthly stipend. Being a graduate teaching assistant is a lot of work though because I had to do two lectures every week as well as attend their two lectures every week as well as preparation for the lectures and grading their assignments afterwards. I had to do all of this on top of my heavy readings and lengthy papers.

The people in the program were some of the friendliest people I had ever met. We went out a few times for dinner or bowling. We also formed study groups to help each other with readings and assignments as well. I still missed my family, friends, and boyfriend who live in South Dakota, and I wished I was living with someone who I knew well for moral support because graduate school is extremely tough. The next semester was better because I was taking classes in agricultural communication, public communication & technology, and strategic communications, which were classes that I chose to take.

Cons of being in graduate school:

  • Constantly being isolated doing readings and writing papers
  • Not much time to join other organizations or internships
  • Quite costly with fees, parking, and textbooks like being an undergraduate

Pros of being in graduate school:

  • Meeting other students in the program who are interesting
  • The class discussions are thought-provoking
  • Going in depth with a subject that is interesting

After attending Colorado State University for a year, I was 100% exhausted with college in general. I was tired of parking situations, cheap food, bad wifi, and immature undergraduate students. I was becoming quite bitter, and I did not feel like myself anymore. I absolutely love to learn, don’t get me wrong, and I want to earn a master’s degree some day, but I realized that I need a break from school. When my boyfriend decided to relocate to Las Vegas for his job, I decided to move in with him because I sincerely missed him, and I wanted to gain public relations experience in Las Vegas. I have never lived in a city before, and Las Vegas has several activities to do. Now, I’m in a bit of weird transitional period in my life, so I suppose I need to accept the unknown and this new adventure.

Thanks for reading!

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