Some of you may have heard, but I graduated…again. This time the powers to be decided that I was a master at communicating so gave me a piece of paper that said so.
After two years at NC State University, I met my goal of getting a master’s degree, and am officially an alumnus of the Wolfpack. Let me tell you, though, running with the pack was not always easy. However, I learned more than I ever thought possible–things that go beyond communication theory, research, and papers. Some of these lessons were small, and others were much larger. Most were learned somewhere between Coliseum Deck and Winston Hall.
- Always make a mental note of where you park your car in the parking deck–after a stressful first day of grad school, I couldn’t remember where I parked my car. I walked aimlessly around, praying and trying not to cry. Finally, Blueberry came into view and I drove off into the distance.
- You cannot possibly predict the many scenarios you’ll be faced with as a teacher–I thought I had imagined it all. I was wrong. Almost on a weekly basis, a new scenario came up that I had to scratch my head at and supply an answer. The things those students came up with never left a dull moment.
- Somehow the 6 flights of stairs never get easier–I just knew I’d be oober fit by the end of my 2 years. Alas, nothing changed.
- Even a communication major can do statistics–I suck at math. I don’t exaggerate either. Somehow, though, I chose to do a quantitative thesis filled with numbers, and finished it!
- You can research anything, so do what you love–If I was going to write more than 60 pages, it was going to be on something I liked. So, I chose pigs. It made the hours of writing and research much more enjoyable and exciting!
- Night classes will complicate your eating schedule–when classes start at 6 and go till 9, figuring out when to eat gets complicated. Cookout was my saving grace on the way home at night.
- It is possible to deal with a forest of papers and never get a paper cut–this is only a quarter of the papers over 2 years, but I’m proud to say, I never got a paper cut.
Of course there was a lot more that I learned. Like the first few days are scary and really hard. You wonder how the heck they let you in to this place, but soon enough, you find your way…and your confidence. You learn to prioritize the millions of readings and assignments. You may find yourself learning what to do in a tornado warning with your students. You will definitely know what late nights are, and the joys of finishing a paper.
And, now after all of the lessons, I now hold a Masters of Science in Communication. I couldn’t have done it without some dear people like my thesis committee. They put hours into proofing, editing, and guiding me. Without them, I wouldn’t have a thesis that encompassed 2 states, 300 participants, pigs, and communication. A huge thank you to Dr. Keyton, Dr. Taylor, and Dr. DeJoy, and all of the other professors I had along the way.
I certainly couldn’t have gotten through grad school without my family. Their prayers and support got me through every paper, assignment, and long night. They were my lifesavers so many times.
Speaking of lifesavers, I would be lost somewhere in the one way streets of Raleigh if it wasn’t for Garrett. He helped me navigate Raleigh, answered my many statistics questions, listened to my struggles, and always reminded me to get lunch.
So, I’m done. I came. I worked. I graduated. Just call me Master Marisa. I’m off to the next chapter in life, but first here’s some pictures from graduation day!!