One Year of Grad School: The Good

Okay so I know it kind of sounded like I’ve had a terrible time in grad school in my last post, but the truth is it has been a really great experience. Let’s be honest, I love school. I’m considering staying in school forever (see #5 of my last post).

Grad school is seriously awesome.

1. My advisor is actually really great. I know I sort of ragged on my advisor in my last post, but although he does control my life, he has been a wonderful mentor this year and I’m so thankful that I ended up in his lab. He has challenged me in so many ways and guided me towards being a great researcher and technical writer. I may be biased, but I think Kim lab is one of the best labs to work in at MSU. There are a lot of great advisors out there, and there are a lot of not-so-great advisors. I’m really blessed that the Lord brought me to Kim lab. (Michelle- Kim lab is always on fire!)

2. I have a flexible schedule. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I complained about how I get no breaks and have to be in the lab all the time, but my schedule can still be flexible. I don’t actually punch a time-clock, so I can meet someone for lunch or leave early for a doctor’s appointment without any hassle. Plus, I don’t have to be at school until 9, which rocks. All my teacher friends out there have to get up at the crack of dawn, while I still sleep until 8. I’m going to be in trouble when I have to get a real job with a real schedule.

3. I’m getting paid to get my master’s degree. Yes I wish my stipend was a little more, but let’s face it: I’m getting paid to go to school. How awesome is that? I’m going to leave MSU debt free with money in my pocket. The only thing I’ve had to pay for is my parking pass and a discounted gym membership, which was still way cheaper than if I was paying for another gym.

4. Lab-mates are my lifeline. One of the best things about grad school has been the people I’ve worked with. I wouldn’t enjoy the lab nearly as much if I didn’t like my lab-mates. I’ve been so lucky to work with Brandon, Josh, Aria, and Katie. In particular, my lab-mate Michelle has become one of my best friends. She has been such a blessing to my life and I’m so thankful for her friendship. If I have gained anything from my year at MSU, it has been a life-long friend.

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6. The tables have turned: I’m the teacher now. Muuuaahahahaha. But seriously, I love teaching. I taught BIO 121, the intro biology lab for science majors, for the last year. I taught 5 sections and have had over 100 students! I loved teaching this class. It was really fun to get students excited about college and their major. This year, I am teaching cell biology lab. I was sad to leave BIO 121, but cell bio is a great opportunity. It’s an upper level class, so we get to do more technical labs and concepts. In addition to my regular teaching schedule, I have been assigned to teach a class of all chinese students this semester. It’s a new special program and they arrive in a couple of weeks. We currently don’t know their level of english-speaking ability, so that will be a challenge to say the least. Guess I should start working on my chinese.

7. I get to work out at a sweet new gym I didn’t have to pay student fees for. I like the gym at SBU, but it’s pretty lame compared to the gym at MSU. (Although neither come close to Mizzou’s fitness center.) MSU increased student fees years ago to build the new fitness center. I was lucky enough to come in the year that it opened having never paid the student fees to build it. #score

8. I get to do science all day. Grad school has really grown my love for science. I’ve always loved science, but it’s become much more real to me now that I’ve experienced it hands-on. Getting my master’s has been about researching the unknown and coming up with new ideas, while undergrad was about stuffing as much information into my head as possible. God has put a passion for biology in me, and I’m excited to see where He leads me in the next year.

Grad school has had its ups and downs, but I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m so blessed to be where I am, but I’m also anxious for the next step. The Lord is so faithful to provide just what I need, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what He has next for Brad and me. But for the coming months, I’ll by busy finishing up loose ends in my research, editing and submitting my review, writing my research publication, and completing my thesis (I’m up to 30 pages!).

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