Wednesday, April 25

One Day at a Time

Freddy Lee is a CMU McNair Scholar Alumni who graduated May 2011 and started his Ph.D. program in Microbiology at Indiana University this past fall.  He received the McNair Fellowship which totally covers his graduate education.  Freddy wrote to me not too long ago and told me that I could share this with you!  Here are some *nuggets of wisdom* especially for those of you getting ready to begin your own graduate career.  :-)  We miss you, Freddy!
Freddy presenting his research in Lansing at Posters on the Hill
Photo compliments of Robert Barclay
The "skinny" on my first year at IU thus, the first semester was by far the hardest yet with the course load, amount of reading, lab rotations, and just getting adjusted to graduate school/life. I would say it took me a solid month and half to deal with the stress level. Here are a few "Aha! moments" (as Oprah would say) that helped me deal with grad school a little better.
  1. Realizing I don't/won't know everything about science...and that's okay. This is the reason I'm in grad school, to build a more in-depth knowledge of science.
  2. Figuring out the expectation for grad school
  3. Making sure to schedule "me" time (tennis, going out with friends ect.). It's very easy to forget about yourself when you have a to-do-list 50ft. long.
  4. And as always, Approach the to-do-list (assignments, presentations, reading etc. I'm nearly a master at this thought process, but I still catch myself thinking too far ahead, and have to refocus myself to the task(s) at hand.
This current semester is much easier than the previous, I'm sure becoming adjusted to grad school plays a major role. Currently, I'm taking 12 credits (4 courses and research). At the beginning of this semester, I chose a permanent lab to join and I'm working on examining the microbial community in the Honey Bee stomach, and trying to determine the role the microbes play on the overall health of the bee. I absolutely love my lab! I definitely feel I made the right choice with concern to my research interest and lab comfort. Thus far in my graduate experience, I have learned so much about research in biology, and can feel myself slowly evolving into a's pretty exciting.

So things are going well!  And, I'm taking it one day at a time.

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