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What I Learned (So Far) My First Semester of Grad School

1) It’s definitely different from undergrad.  I know that’s an obvious one but that doesn’t make it any less true.  I can honestly say that I have probably read more this semester than I did in all of undergrad combined.  Also, my class attendance level is definitely much better than it was in undergrad.  I was not a slacker back then. I just didn’t work as hard as I have worked this semester.  Also, getting my masters definitely comes with more responsibilities.  There is an expected level of accountability for doing your work and the readings prior to class.

2)  Enjoy Vermont.  Exploring the different activities, such as going to the Tunbridge World’s Fair, apple-picking, touring Ben and Jerry’s and eating an apple cider donut from Cold Hollow Cider, have kept my stress level at bay.  There will always be a lot of reading to do and papers will have to be turned in but it is important for your sanity and health to take a break every once in a while and enjoy this place.

3)  The professors really are approachable and very nice.  They are open to seeing you if you have any questions and will even give tips on another class you may have.  They actually want you to do well in school.

4)  New England seems to have a lot of one-lane roads and bridges.  I’m not a fan and I just felt like venting about them for a second.  OK, I’m done.

5)  Living without a roommate is not awful.  I am a people-person who loves to entertain and talk to everyone.  I thought living by myself would be terrible, and it turned out to be quite the opposite.  I don’t have fights over dishes in the sink or whose turn it is to take out the trash.  I also have more time to focus and study without getting distracted.  All in all, it has turned out pretty well for me so far.

6)  Maple syrup does taste different than other regular syrups.

Being a Masters student definitely has its ups and downs at VLS.  Overall, the experience is pretty good.  I love the little family I found here at the school.  The people here are supportive and willing to help you out in any way they can, whether it’s a question on writing your memo for Intro to Legal Studies or giving you a ride to the grocery store.  The first semester has been a great learning experience so far and I feel more confident going into spring semester come January.  Of course, I am saying all of this before exams come up so check back a couple weeks later to see if I have changed my tune!

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