It is exams period! Cue en masse distress. The halls of MSPP are choc-full of students frantically completing their last pieces of work and preparing for various exams. Thankfully, there are plenty of quiet places at MSPP that are available for quiet study, reading, and paper-writing. Maybe, like me, you’ve fallen in love with the wide chairs on each floor that are just right for fitting your body and having space left over for a pile of books or your laptop. One of the things I’m coming to realize is that the process of getting through exams here (and probably at most graduate-level programs) is made that much easier if you have a study buddy. Several, even. Make use of your classmates and flashcards, as you will both benefit from throwing questions back and forth to see what you know and what you haven’t quite got down pat.
And if you’re struggling, get in contact with your professor as soon as you can – they’re there to help in whatever way they can! So far, every professor had has been open to being flexible in some way that can help. Maybe they can’t bend over backward, but they’ll try to meet me halfway, at the very least, and that is certainly worth something.
On that note:
One of my concerns about coming to a professional school was the amount of care, community and connectedness. I suppose there are some students who like to be on their own in a system, following the structure of the program and ticking all the boxes to get through to the other end. Me, I’m not like that; I like small groups for discussion, building connections with people from different backgrounds, being supervised and advised and having lots of varying opinions to work with. I like being guided and supported by people who have “been there” and who are “in the know.” Thus far, MSPP has proven to be able to provide this sort of environment, and I’m infinitely grateful. It helps that it’s a small community, so it is easy to get to know just about all professors and administrators – if only through the fact that I get turned around on each floor no less than twice a day and pass the same people over and over again. Throw out a smile, stop to make a little conversation, grab a mint from one of the many (many) bowls strategically placed at the corners of desks and shelves specifically for that purpose.
All of that in the name of community building and feeling like you’re a part of something bigger.
And that there are ways of easing the exam-taking process.