bosanbo Posted April 24, 2013 Share Posted April 24, 2013 I'm an "alternative" student, or whatever it is called these days. I graduated high school in 2000, but did not start my B.A. until 2004. I worked and served a year in AmeriCorps in between. I worked full-time while attending community college, then transferred to a state university. Throughout the entire six years it took to get my B.A. (see: working full time), I felt singularly unsupported. Advisers didn't advise, guidance counselors didn't guide, despite my frequent requests. I mainly got pre-printed checklists that I then ticked off by myself, hoping I was meeting all requirements. As a student with no family support, I also didn't really understand financial aid my first few years. I paid a lot of money out of pocket that I didn't have to. The school I graduated from had a bit of a reputation for making students feel this way, but I attended it because it was where I lived, and not out of choice. Basically, I fumbled around. I graduated in 2010 and took two years to figure out my next step, which turned out to be graduate school. I don't know if my experience is common or not. But now I fear my lack of guidance is working against me, or that it's just making me paranoid. I've chosen to attend a M.S. program at Cornell and... well, I feel like I'm supposed to know everything already. Everything about funding, grants, and how to "be" a graduate student, that is. I don't want to contact my POI too much, because I feel like I'm being a pest. I'd rather she not see me as an insecure person before I even arrive, if that makes sense. I'm really, really happy to have gotten in to Cornell, since the program is exactly what I'm after. I'm also very proud, coming from a poorer family and having no family support, to finally have a choice in my education, instead of just going to the school that is in my town, etc. Some of this is just venting, but also... I'd really like to hear if other people have been through this. How did you learn to navigate course requirements and optional classes, grants and funding, etc.? How did you learn to not look like a completely nervous person who was just so overwhelmingly happy to be there, and starting looking like... a grad student? Sorry for my neurosis! Like I said, this is the first time I've had an actual choice about my path. Whew. OK. I think that's it. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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