Jill Shah, 1st-year Epidemiology
Before coming to Rollins, I spent three years working and I was definitely nervous about how I’d adjust to being back in school. I was curious and anxious to see what grad school life would be like, and I also knew that the time was going to fly by, and I wanted to make the most of the two quick years of grad school. I wanted to hear every piece of advice on juggling classes, work, volunteer, friends and time for Netflix (let’s be real, this doesn’t change in grad school, and I’ve came up with a few things that I was told before I started as well as a few things I’ve learned along the way.
- It’s never too early- The first semester can be overwhelming, but I like to think it is in a good way. Adjusting to classes and working (if you choose to work) will be the main parts of your day. But you’ll hear about the importance of networking, over and over again, and I can’t stress this enough. It is never too early to start talking to as many people as you can, such as professors, speakers and other students. This will help develop (or find) your own interests, as will build relationships that could lead to possible internships or volunteer opportunities. There are a lot of opportunities out there, but it will require some work on your end to find them!
- “ Network” with students- Going off the networking mentioned above, I often think of professionals or professors when I hear the term “networking,” but don’t forget about current students! Students are the best resources for advice on classes, professors, as well learning about how they obtained internships. It’s a great idea to talk to 2nd year students and get to know them, their research interests and hear about some of the experiences they’ve had while at Rollins!
- Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing- Yes, I’ve gotten caught up in what everyone else is doing, which stressed me out and discouraged me. Some of my classmates were locking down practicums even before I even started looking, but it’s important to focus on your goals and interests. Keep talking to people, networking, and you’ll find your great opportunities too J
- Take care of yourself- This is definitely one of the most important things, but also the most neglected. School is busy, work is busy, life gets busy. But it’s definitely important to take a little time for yourself. Whatever it may be…working out, eating healthy, unwinding with a hobby (or reading a non textbook), find a few healthy habits and stick with it! It can really clear your mind and rejuvenate you with energy.
- HAVE FUN- Aside from everything I’ve mentioned, it’s important to have fun during your two years here! Make homework fun by studying with friends once in awhile. Take advantage of the lunch period (12-1pm where no one has class) to attend various meetings that different student organizations hold about topics that interest you, or even ones that don’t, because it might surprise you how much you like it! Also, there will be* lots* of events that RSGA will hold such as Convos on Tap which is great way to hang out with friends and meet new people as well. And take advantage of being in Atlanta and exploring the city-there are great places to eat and many sights to see!
Hope to see you in the Fall!