Wednesday, 27 September 2017

My Grad School Experience So Far

This is my 3rd week of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Queen's University and so far, I'm loving it. It's a completely different change from undergrad, but in a good way. The school that I went to for undergrad was not very social and didn't have much school spirit. I went strictly for the academics, which I don't regret, but I was craving more of a typical university experience after I finished. I can definitely say that I've found that experience here.


Even though I've only been at Queen's for a few weeks, I already feel at home. To start off, my program is small (less than 50 people), so we're already pretty close. I'm always studying in the library, grabbing food, or going out for drinks with my classmates. The professors specifically told us to collaborate and not be competitive, so everyone looks out for one another. This is much different from undergrad, when I would only shares my notes with a select few and rarely hangout with my classmates outside of lecture.

Another thing that I love about Queen's is living in Kingston, Ontario. It has the most restaurants per capita in all of Canada, even though it's a fairly small town. I already have a long list of restaurants that I can't wait to try. I also love being close to everything - campus, the grocery store, the drug store, cafes, restaurants, bars and the waterfront. I walk just about everywhere!

As for the actual work, I'm finding the course load to be a lot less than undergrad. I'll be working part-time during school for the first time in my life because of the extra room in my schedule. Instead of taking 5 courses a semester, I only have to take 3 courses plus a pass or fail workshop. For the most part, the level of difficulty is similar to that of a 3rd or 4th year course, except for Biostatistics. It is the hardest course that I've ever taken in my life, even though I've already taken 2 stats courses before! I have to study a minimum of 2 hours before each class just so that I can keep up with the lecture material. The other day I was asking my professor a question and nearly burst in to tears from frustration. Fortunately, I know that everyone else is in the same boat, so it's nice having people to vent to and study with.

I can't finish this post without mentioning my roommates. I live with 4 other grad students and they're all so great. Everyone is respectful and mature, which I can really appreciate after two particularly awful roommate experiences. Having a group of people to hangout with who aren't in my program is so nice when I want a break from anything school related.

Overall, my grad school experience has been a great one so far! I'm really excited to see what the rest of the semester will bring.

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