Musings on my First Graduate Course

Well I did it. I finished my first graduate course, In Search of the Church.  I was not sure what to expect. I enrolled because graduate school is a goal of mine, but yet, there was a part of me that wondered if I could do it. Would my writing be good enough, am I smart enough to get my point across? What was I getting myself into??

Earning my bachelor’s was fun and way easier than I expected. I threw myself into it and gave it all I got. Graduating in the top 1% proved that my efforts paid off. But still, graduate school? Have the title of Master’s of anything is enough to put most people off. It filled me with dread and self doubt, but I had to do it. I know, had I not tried I would have always wondered “what if”?

So now that it is over (okay, okay, I still have my final paper to write), what do I think now?

To be honest, I’m not sure. Maybe it was the class, maybe it was me, but I feel like I could have done better. I don’t feel I was articulate enough or grasped the deeper meaning of some of the reading material.

And wow, was there a lot of reading! Most of it was on the web, which I hate! I never feel like I fully get into a subject unless I have it in my hand. I am one of those readers who highlight and scribble notes in the margins of my textbooks. If I printed out all of our assigned reading, it would fill up a 4 inch binder.

Some of our material came from Wikipedia. Wikipedia? What the hell? I thought we would be researching scholarly sites or using the University’s virtual library, not the crib-note version of Encyclopedias. That was a major disappointment and made the class feel less upper-division. High school students aren’t even supposed to cite Wikipedia!

Thankfully, my fellow classmates didn’t leave me in the dust. Oh there were two whose writing style blew my away. But over all we were all equal in our understanding of the material. This was another fear I had. I dreaded being in a virtual classroom full of smart graduate students; until I realized I was one of them. Oh, hello, Sari, get it in your head, you didn’t sneak in, you got in! I think my expectations were to high; of myself and the class. This first class was not much different from my under graduate ones (except for the amount of reading).

So now that it is over, I can relax and feel a little better about myself. I have my final paper outlined and I think I may even earn an A, or at least a very strong B. So yes, I can relax…..but then again, my next class starts in three weeks. Crap, what if it’s harder??

Author: sarij

I'm a writer, lifelong bibliophile ,and researcher. I hold a Bachelors in Humanities & History and a Master's in Humanities. When I'm not reading or talking about Shakespeare or history, you can usually find me in the garden discussing science or politics with my cat.

One thought on “Musings on my First Graduate Course”

  1. I was going to write that I just couldn’t follow what you were saying…….. Decided against it. Didn’t know if I was good enough to write something said seriously but meant with a wink. I wrote a few rough drafts…. Laughed to myself. I secretly think I’m hilarious. 🙂 My self doubt overtook me however…….. So now I am forced to write this boring paragraph to express my “feelings”………UGGGH!!!
    Sari….. I loved how you shared your insecurities…. It reminds me of how I felt when starting a new job. People tend to make their jobs seem so very important and complicated… and I often thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. Soon…. I’d realize it was incredibly easy and that the complications were just a smoke screen to build up egos and reputations. I wonder however….. if I wouldn’t have tried so hard without my self doubt…. It is a wonderful motivation factor. The trick is to jump in….. and then realize the water is just fine.
    Thanks for this reminder………… 🙂


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