I’ll admit that during my first semester last year, I thought the second years were exaggerating when they talked about how busy they were. I knew that balancing work and school was hard – I did it for about two years before starting at La Follette – but it wasn’t that hard. I was wrong and I apologize. It is much harder to balance a demanding job that requires a lot of learning on the spot with a full load of courses than a relatively straightforward job and two evening classes. Never mind extra activities like LSSA, family, and/or relationships.
Not that I am complaining. Anytime people ask me how I am doing, I respond “Busy.” But that isn’t the best answer. I am busy, but I am also doing really well. I spend a lot of the semester feeling like I am behind in my classes. I balance two jobs with school and relationships. But overall, things are really great! I am learning more than ever in my classes, through my internship, and through my job at WISCAPE. LSSA has given me the opportunity to work with really great people and make some excellent contacts in the community and at the La Follette School.
Things are never perfect, but I did a lot of research before applying to policy school and coming to La Follette and it was absolutely the right decision. So remember, even when things are busy and difficult, you are learning to do good work, making friends, and honing your skills. Graduate school isn’t something all people get to experience, but I think for many of us, it is a very rewarding two years.
Sylvia Fredericks looks forward to saying “I have a master’s degree.”