The Beginning of the Second Year of Graduate School | Post 33

Rachael Kroot - September 2013


I had just about the most perfect summer possible. I spent a month volunteering in Nicaragua. I worked for two months as a paid intern in the weather center at the top station in Washington, DC (that’s where the picture was taken). And, I was still able to go on my family’s summer vacation to Maine. Minus the fact that I missed the summer storm chase class, I couldn’t have asked for more. You can imagine how hard it was, then, to return to school at the end of August.

Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to get back to town and see all of my friends and professors again… but I’m sure many of you know how hard it can be to get back into the swing of things. Maybe the start of year 2 hasn’t been quite what you expected so far. Maybe the routine feels strange. Maybe there is no routine. For me, the initial excitement of being back settled into reality much quicker than I expected, and I spent a few days unsure of what to do with myself. After three months away, living in MS did not feel normal anymore.

The key, as simple as it sounds, is time. The first week was busy and hectic. I had a lot of setting up to do in my new apartment. We were without internet for about ten days (which was much more terrible then I expected). I had quite a few meetings, both on campus and off. My friend Isaac and I took a two hour trip down to Jackson, MS to talk with the National Weather Service about a new “color use on weather maps” research project.   I had to catch up on loose ends and data requests from the summer. I had to get ready for a new year of MSU’s meteorology club (I’m the new Treasurer). And, of course, I was starting all new classes.

I felt like I had never left and like I wasn’t ready to be back all at once. By Thursday, I was sufficiently overwhelmed. Luckily, that’s what weekends are for. I was mostly recovered by Sunday, and week two only improved from there. I am about to enter week three of classes, and I can safely say that my life feels normal again.



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About the Author: Rachael has a B.S. in Geography from the University of Maryland and is currently attending graduate school for broadcast meteorology.

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