The Frugalista Life

#TheMoreYouKnow: What I Learned About Myself As a Graduate Student

Growing up, I knew I wanted to get my Master’s degree. I had no idea what that meant; I just thought it sounded cool. When I was in either middle school, I wrote down a list of things I wanted to accomplish while on a trip to St. Augustine…honestly, what middle schooler spends time on a vacay writing down life goals? While everyone was applying to grad schools at the end of the good ol’ days of undergrad, I didn’t have the urge to go just yet. It wasn’t until I had a “quarter-life crisis” (and lots of dreams involving school) that I knew it was finally time to go back. I was nervous, of course, but I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. Once I figured out what I wanted to study, then came the application process. I’m not great at waiting because I’m impatient. I stressed for over a month on whether or not I’d be accepted. I’d check my email and mailbox all day everyday in anticipation of a response. When I got my acceptance, I hit the ground running.

What I learned as a graduate student is completely different than what I learned as an undergrad. I had more time in undergrad to put things off and procrastinate basically.

This is what I learned about myself as a grad student:

Ahead of Schedule

I had a weekly reminder in my phone that let me know when to write out my schedule. Writing out my work for the week let me divide it among the days. Some days I had barely anything, other days there was more. Also, if I had papers with large word counts, I’d break it down smaller and work on it bit by bit until complete…even if that meant starting a month before the due date. I learned making my weekly work schedule gives me the time I need to complete every task.

All in Good Time

We hear everything about time management. I learned quickly that time management is key. I got the bulk of work done during my 12-hour shifts at work so I’d break my work down into 4 hour blocks with small breaks during those blocks. It kept me sane and less overwhelmed. I felt like I was accomplished when I’d finish everything.

Balancing Act

Maintaining some sort of balance became a struggle at times. Between work and classes, there were definitely times when I just wanted to lay in bed all day and binge watch the Cooking Channel. To keep some sort of balance, I’d try and do something for myself completely unrelated to school. Did that happen all the time? Of course not.


Doesn’t it suck when you realize you’ve scrolled Instagram for 30 minutes and you can’t get that time back? My phone is the biggest distraction of them all. When I’m thinking just 5 minutes to take my mind off work is cool, it’s never that long. What I learned to do is actually implement the 5 minute rule to not end up down the IG rabbit hole.

Sad(not really) to say, I’m done with school and I graduate in a week. These last 2 years went by super fast and idk how. I’m ecstatic to see what happens for me next with my MA degree…who knows, I’ll probably go back for my Ph.D *Kanye shrug*