International Honor Society in Social Sciences
The mission of Pi Gamma Mu is to encourage and promote excellence in the social sciences and to uphold the ideals of scholarship and service.

STUDENT REP RAP

Mark BenderWhen I sat down to write this article, I contemplated all of the programs at various schools in various cities being sought by various individuals from various backgrounds; how could I write an article on graduate school and account for all of these variations? Then I thought deeper about my own experiences, and what I have heard from others in similar situations, and came up with a few suggestions that might apply to anyone undertaking the transition from undergraduate life to graduate life. “A few” might even be an overstatement; I was able to narrow down my thoughts into two essential recommendations for all who are entering graduate school.

First and foremost, find a program that you like, if not love. I know it might still be difficult to determine what it is that you actually enjoy, but really think through this suggestion. When it comes to working a job, one can better justify working a lackluster job to avoid unemployment or earn an income, and that is understandable; however, when it comes to graduate school, you are often undertaking debt to follow this path. It is a lot easier to find yourself in a mental ditch if you do not truly enjoy the program you are pursuing, especially when you consider the other options that might not be as financially straining. As an economics student, I can't help but make a point about monetary incentives, but there are issues even beyond the green. Graduate studies can slowly move outside of a typical 9-to-5 work schedule. You will be devoting an immense amount of time and effort, and even if you escape from the classes, homework, tests, and readings will be on your mind constantly. You will be surrounded by other people who are in love with the subjects you are studying and you will soon find yourself telling those cheesy niche jokes that you swore you would never sink to telling. If you enter a program that you really do not like, you might find it difficult to stay on task, keep up with the work, and find motivation to put in a lot of effort.

Secondly, be adventurous. This applies to every part of graduate life. You might end up in a new town, surrounded by new people, and studying new topics. Explore your surroundings. Along with being adventurous, have an open mind on your journeys. Graduate school has the ability to attract a lot of specialized, well-read individuals who will have an opinion on everything, as well as individuals who grew up in different cultures and speaking different languages. Listen to their opinions and explore their beliefs; you might learn a thing yourself. This exploration will open your mind and help you in your research. Graduate school will finally be your time to apply everything you have experienced and learned to create dissertations, theses, publications, and research; now is your time to create something that future college students will cite in their essays and papers.

Keep these considerations on your mind as you pass from undergraduate to graduate life. They might sound off-base right now, but you will soon understand why I narrowed down this article into these two suggestions.

Mark Bender
Student Trustee

HONOR CORDS

With graduation on the horizon for many Pi Gamma Mu members, don't forget to order your honor cords. They are royal blue and white twisted nylon cords with royal blue tassels. To get your graduation cords, send a check or money order for $15 (which includes postage and handling) to the Pi Gamma Mu headquarters at 1001 Millington, Suite B, Winfield, KS 67156 or phone headquarters (620-221-3128) and give us your credit card number; we will put them in the mail right away.

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