Hello Wonderful People! Happy Wednesday! By the time this blog post goes up, my post-bacc experience will be completely over. The actual program ended in April, but I have been working part-time as a research assistant with my advisor – so it doesn’t really feel like it’s ended! Let me start this blog post by stating that the Hot Metal Bridge Program at the University of Pittsburgh is AMAZING. I can personally speak for the psychology section of the program and this program has really been life changing. It allowed me
to get a “taste” to be immersed into a graduate school program – I was considered a first year graduate student. This program taught me alot about psychology and graduate school, but most importantly this program taught me alot about myself. I will forever be grateful.
- The first thing I learned was the importance of time management. Within a graduate school program, at least for psychology, the amount of time that is structured is very slim outside of your classes. You have to decide when and how you will do your research, assistantship obligations, etc. For me, this was a hard adjustment at first. I have always been a scheduler/calendar person – but it took me until the second or third week to fully understand that I basically am going to have to make my own schedule. Once I got into a system with doing that, it was much easier. But I had to get used to
no one breathing down my necknot having to check in with my advisor every second of the day or having someone telling me what I need to be doing or where I need to be.
- I also learned that I need a social circle/community (not saying that my social circle was bad at Pitt). As I am about to transition into a clinical psychology Ph.D. program, I recognized that I am going to have to be more intentional about building my friend group and community once I move to STL. There are times in Pittsburgh, where I felt very isolated and alone (not the fault of my cohort). It’s something about being the only Black girl in the entire 1st-year cohort that really messed with my head, so I am going to have to be more intentional about creating these spaces for myself. This way I don’t have to call/facetime my parents 50 times a day when I need to vent.
- Additionally, I learned that graduate school is going to be tough. Applying to graduate school was super rough, but my being persistent and steadfast is what really carried me through. This is a journey or a marathon BUT not a sprint. I am going to have to remind myself to pace myself. I won’t be able to get to the finish line without taking proper care of myself in all ways. During this first year, I am going to try to schedule in self-care more, so even when things are getting hectic I will be able to handle it.
- It is okay to outgrow and grow into people and places. Moving 7 hours from home and my social support system has really taught me that some of the people I considered close where only close because we lived near each other. And while it hurts, sometimes i just think that we outgrow people and places. Instead of framing it as a loss, I am trying to frame it as there are spaces opening up in my life for new, exciting people and places.
- I’ve learned really what it means when people say, “its okay not to be okay.” I really don’t have to have it all together all the time. Even though I really want to have it all together. I don’t want to come off as I am living this perfect life – because I am not. There have been tough times and I have spent months not being okay – but also not feeling up to admitting to people mentoring me that I wasn’t okay. Thus making me suffer in silence. I am trying to be as transparent as possible with my social media, but it still feels like a highlight reel. I am working on it though and allowing people to be there for me.
Have you learned anything about yourself in the last six months?? Share below!