Our student bloggers have wrapped up a most unusual year at Fletcher. Today we’ll check in with Princess, looking forward to coming to Medford in person in the fall.
I have officially survived my first year of grad school! When I look back on this academic year (and oh what an interesting year it has been), I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
My experience this year has given me so much to be thankful for. Although I studied remotely in a different state, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by family that encouraged me along the way. Whether they gave me that final push I needed to finish my term paper, or they made me take breaks when I really needed them, their support was completely invaluable to me. I am also very happy to have established great connections with the friends I’ve made so far. At the beginning of the year, I was concerned that I would not be able to develop any meaningful friendships due to remote learning. I am glad that I was wrong because I have met some of the most interesting people at Fletcher that I am proud to call my friends. Additionally, I am beyond grateful for the faculty that put in 110% of their efforts to ensuring that students felt comfortable learning despite the challenges. I am so glad to be a part of this community.
I am leaving this year with some very important lessons that will help me not just in the subsequent academic year, but for a long time to come. First of all, I have learned to live life in the moment and not succumb to pressure. In past academic experiences, I’ve completely focused on getting the ‘best grades’ to the extent that I forget to cherish the learning process. I made a point to change that this year and I’ve found that it completely rekindled my curiosity and passion for learning. Secondly, I’ve learned how important it is to put yourself out there and not let the fear of failure deter you from your goals. For instance, I wrote an op-ed for my Forced Migration course regarding Internally Displaced Persons in my home country Nigeria. I took a leap of faith and submitted it for publication not sure that it would gain any traction but it ended up being published! Finally, from group projects to my work as a Teaching Assistant, I have learned how helpful it is to have great relationships with the people you work with. I do not know how I would have made it through this past semester without the support of my lovely co-TAs.
I am very excited for what the summer holds. I will be doing research for my capstone which is centered on women’s involvement in civil resistance movements. I will also be doing some research assistant work that I find very interesting. Beyond that, I am taking some time to unwind after a very fulfilling but challenging academic year. I plan on doing some (non-academic) reading and writing as well as sight-seeing now that I have been vaccinated. Next academic year, I hope to become more involved on campus. I have never been to Medford and I am so excited to explore it. Also, I can finally meet all my friends in person and see how tall they are! I am looking forward to all the joys next year will bring.