I graduated from Glendon this spring with a degree in Environmental and Health Studies. Oh, sorry, I mean Bilingual Bachelor of Arts Honours Specialization Multidisciplinary Studies (aka Environmental and Health Studies). That’s a mouthful.
I wound up at the University of Toronto for a Master of Science in Planning (aka urban planning). I spent my last year incredibly freaked out over the application process, but hey, it worked out, because I had to decide from multiple offers from world class universities. Thank you, Glendon, for allowing me to get to know my professors so I could ask them for advice…and references.
I’m almost finished my first semester. Here are some tidbits of info I have for everyone considering grad school:
- Everyone is as dedicated and motivated as you are. This makes group work a lot easier, but stop sizing yourself up against everyone else. You were accepted for a reason.
- Learn what the words/acronyms “cohort”, “SSHRC/NSERC”, “CUPE”, and “comps” mean (if you want to chat up some PhD students)
- Spending your Saturday in your silent (almost) private office on campus is super cool the first time you do it, but incredibly depressing every subsequent time.
- Your writing skills will make or break you. Learn to write. Learn to write concisely. Learn to remove all your silly filler words and phrases. Learn to link your ideas together and learn to put the thesaurus down. And for the love of god, learn what a sentence fragment is. Here are some helpful tips.
- Your university will have cool resources for grad students. Use them. I took a class on applying to SSHRC (a government grant for humanities and social science students) that helped me tremendously.
I’m lucky to be studying what I love. And I better love it, as every second of every day is planning planning planning right now.
I should get back to writing one of my final papers for the term. Leave comments if you have any questions about grad school!