Halfway to a Graduate Degree


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graduate school, textbooks, purdue university, master of science in communications, online communications programsAs of today I’m officially halfway to a graduate degree. I’ve successfully completed five courses toward an M.S. in Communication from Purdue University. I also just passed the nine-month mark in my current job. I won’t say it it hasn’t been a stressful first several months at post.I will say that I was finally able to establish a routine and get the hang of balancing work, school and a sort-of life outside of that. Kail and I are both introverts and homebodies but I feel like we do a lot every week/have done a lot in the time we’ve been here considering work and school.We spend a lot of time exercising — running (outside and inside) and taking spinning and other classes at the gym. We’ve hosted a couple visitors, seen a lot (but not all) of Jordan and taken a few international trips. Otherwise, I spend most of my “free” time doing schoolwork.I’ve been able to manage my time well and set aside certain days for homework, as well as plan ahead for final papers and presentations so I’ve (mostly) avoided having to bring work with me on vacation or spend a lot of time working when visitors are in town. There are no breaks between classes until mid-December (my last break was last mid-December), so it’s impossible to avoid working entirely.Despite my best intentions at time management and planning ahead, some things have to be sacrificed. Spending time on this blog, for one. And writing and reading, generally — not for work work or schoolwork.I also feel like I haven’t spent as much time getting to know Jordan and people here (inside/outside the Embassy) as I would have liked. I know this is a result of my own decisions — prioritizing, say, exercising on a “free” weeknight I’m not working vs. doing something with friends — but I often think about the fact that I’ve lived in Jordan for more than nine months and still haven’t been to certain places in Amman, or met more people.I do realize that every weekend we’ve gone on an international trip (hello, Muscat, Istanbul and Barcelona) is a weekend we could have stayed in Jordan and experienced something new here. Maybe it’s the four-year-post mentality (after one year in Kabul and two-ish in San Salvador): I feel like we have all the time in the world.In practice, however, I know it doesn’t work that way. That one day you wake up and think, Where did the last one, two, four years go? So we’ll keep trying to see more of Jordan, visit new countries, stay fit and make new friendships and maintain old ones. And I’ll keep working towards my master’s degree.What time-management tips to you have?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

7 thoughts on “Halfway to a Graduate Degree

  1. Post bucket lists….which do require time to make. There was only 2 places we didn’t make it to in the Georgia region (1 in country and 1 out of country…and the out of country destination we did have a trip planned but it got cancelled).

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    1. Post bucket lists are a good idea. I think it’s tough in places like Georgia or Jordan where there are so many in-country and close regional/out-of-country destinations. So far we’ve been taking more out-of-country trips because it feels like we have a lot of time.

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  2. Congratulations on being half finished with your masters. Having to sacrifice my reading time, exercise and travel is what has scared me away from a masters degree. Good for you for managing it all so well.

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    1. Thank you! I have not sacrificed exercise or travel! Reading, yes. This program feels intense because it’s nonstop but the fact that it’s one class at a time makes it more manageable. And I’ll get done faster than if I did have breaks.It’s never too late … 😉

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