My Life as a Grad Student

As our school year is coming to an end, I started to reflect to when I was first hired to be a blogger for Around the Grove, especially a Graduate Student Blogger. I was told that my unique perspective as a Grad Student would allow me to talk about things that undergrads might look forward to or find interesting.

Now that I think about it, I haven’t really mentioned what I do as a Graduate Student.

First of all, I am a Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate in Public Health Practice and Policy with University of Maryland (UMD). I am enrolled in it full time so it will take me only 2 years to complete the program. I am taking interesting courses such as Healthcare Strategic Planning, Public Health and Politics, Research Methodologies, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and my personal favorite: Environmental Health. I also co-founded a grad student organization called Studends in Healthcare for Action and Reform (SHARe).

Secondly, I am fortunate enough to be offered a Graduate Assitantship (GA). A GA position can be an Administrative Assistant (AA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Research Assistant (RA), and so on. Graduate Assistants (GA) are Graduate Students who are being offered part time or full time tuition remission for their work for the school. In my case, my GA position is to work for UMD’ Public Health Science Undergraduate program at Shady Grove. I am a full time GA so I work for 20 hours per week. My grad school tuition is completely covered as well. I am also compensated for the hours I work. My GA position is unique because our Public Health Science program is small and has various uses for me. In addition doing administrative work and assisting in teaching, I also do admissions work and advising. This means I read applications, look at transcript, and discuss who gets accepted into or rejected from the program. I advise students who are looking to apply to the program, as well as applicants and current students. I also host workshops for students and alumni for internships, job search, and other popular Public Health topics.13076826_10154178006848293_4507657569140764738_n

Basically, I attend school full time and work 20 hours as week. I use my extra time to study, intern, and most importantly, enjoy life.

Studying is simple. I do it to get good grades.

Intering is also simple. I do it to gain experience and improve my resume. Starting this summer, I am interning for Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN). I’m excited!

1234567.jpgEnjoying life… now that’s a hard one for students usually. As an undergrad, I was so consumed with studying, trying to get into grad school, and stressing out over part time job, internship, and extracurricular activities. Now, I am realizing that it was so exhausting to live that way. So I do these things to relax and unwind:

  • travel
  • go to concerts
  • go hiking and camping
  • play tennis
  • explore new locations, restaurants, or hangout spots
  • make time to meet with my loved ones and close friends
  • focus on living a healthier lifestyle (decrease stress-eating, working out more, sleeping right, etc)12345.jpg

I find that I’m happier these days. I don’t know about other Grad Students, but I feel like this is the best stage of my academic and personal life. I’m doing what I love, professionally and personally…and that means the world to me.

Thanks for reading my blogs this past school year. I hope that you will do wonderfully for your finals. Have an awesome summer! 🙂



About Christine

Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Wonder (2017-2019)
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