What I’ve Been Doing!
To my loyal readers who have contacted me (even though I already took down that email due to influx of spam mail) asking about where I was and whether or not I would keep posting, this is for you! I’m still here! I know that I left with a post regarding burnout and then another post about WDS and MDT! As most people have suspected, I was insanely busy due to studying for finals and finishing up a couple of projects as I began my exit process at my various work places.
Why I Got Slammed…
This past semester really hit me much harder than I thought it would, especially because I was taking less classes than normal, however, I didn’t accurately account for the time sink of a couple of classes and their projects would end up being, especially since I was doing graduate-level course work. At my university and in my department, there are some classes where both undergraduates and graduates students takes, some of which are more introductory courses however others are the upper-level and more advanced courses as well, and in most cases like these, the differences would be in subject material or the difficulty of assignments and exams to accurately reflect what these two different academic tiers should understand. Unfortunately, at my school, those classes have the exact same difficulty of subject material and assignments/exams, meaning despite being in the undergraduate level of that class, I was still doing graduate level coursework but I wasn’t getting credit for the graduate level class. I can understand why that is the case in some situations where the coursework was different, but if I was doing the exact same assignments and being tested on the exact same material that graduate level students were learning, why shouldn’t I have gotten the credit for it? According to my department, it’s because I still need the undergraduate level course work “checked off” in my academic audit, thus I could only get the undergraduate level credit for it, and even then, I know there are situations where you can have it apply twice for dual credit, but unfortunately they wouldn’t allow it either. From my academic audit, I was able to determine that in these past 3 years of my department coursework, I only required 1 more year of courses to have also gotten a Master’s degree in my program, but because my department doesn’t allow “double dipping”, if I chose to pursue a graduate degree in that department, I would have to take the exact same class again and submit the exact same work.
Another reason was my role and position at my current research lab was starting to have more obligations and responsibilities, I was fortunate to not have been in a lab where I would have simply become the “grunt” that cleans, counts, and charts. Instead, I was given the opportunity to perform various commonplace procedures and even work on developing a protocol myself and comparing the results with our standardized protocol to verify and analyze the differences and potential benefits in mass spectrometry analysis! It might read as being boring, but I loved what I was doing and the more I did it, I guess the more I was recognized and the more that was put on my plate. Although people recognized I was still considered as a “volunteer” at that research lab, because they knew I would eventually be hired onto a paid position, they wanted to get ahead and teach me more about what I would be doing as an employee at that lab and as a result, my time spent and responsobilities both rose (though I enjoyed what I was doing). Regardless, I look forward to these next few months as I continue to grow and learn in this lab!
Lastly was at work, I was involved as a Student Ambassador at my university’s Undergraduate Admissions Department where I was primarily a tour guide for prospective students and families, student assistant in the office regarding the management and scheduling of tours, athletic visits, school visits, etc as well as a student outreach member in reaching out to families and prospective students and helping them through various issues such as the common application, financial aid and etc. However, because of my background, I was also asked to be involved in more data analytics and report generating for the admission counselors of the office to help track their metrics, goals, and various numbers. Because of that, I would use data analytics to help calculate various goals in different regions, calculate the number of students in various programs and what stage of the application process they were in among various assignments. In general, that took much more time than I was assigned in the office and as a result, that also ended up pushing my time a bit more than I wanted.
With the aggregate of these three activities, I was pushed to my limits both mentally and physically as I struggled to stay ahead of coursework in case of emergencies as well as ensuring that I wasn’t letting go of my other obligations and responsibilities. All in all, I believe that my hard work did pay off as I did well this semester and I was able to complete all of the projects and experiments that I was assigned. Even though I had went home for about 3.5 weeks for winter break, I didn’t have the energy of even the desire to write and blog, mainly because I was just so high strung from studying for finals, and cramming, and note taking that all I could really do (and what I really do each winter break) is just sit at home and relax, sprinkled with hanging out with some high school friends. I did start my preparations for the MCAT that I will be taking this upcoming April but other than that, I went on a few family vacations and trips that I absolutely loved, and just spent quality time relaxing, unwinding, and with my family. Do keep your eyes peeled because I will be writing more this upcoming year!