And, just like that, I’m in grad school. I’m making moves, I’m taking Philly and UPenn by storm, and my higher education is top priority. Yesterday was my very first day of classes and, though I was PAINFULLY excited, I was also silly-nervous. Was the teacher gonna be hard? Would there be mean girls a la Elle Woods’ first day in law school? Would anyone sit next to me? What was the difference between nominal and interval-ratio, again?
Luckily, my intro to Biostats class was the ideal first class to have. My professor was friendly, adorable, and “loved” that I was named Jordan (boy’s name for a girl! HOW NOVEL!!) As I listened to the lecture (for which I was incredibly prepared for, as I’d been “that girl” who did all the reading before the first day), I found my mind drifting a bit. Primarily to the fact that, despite almost all the students being 25+ (with a few “young’ns” clocking in at 21-22), this wasn’t so different from another first day I had, years and years ago. Maybe like… 20 years ago. Like Kindergarten.
And, though I’m not the first person to make this comparison, my personal experience revealed both major similarities, and stark differences.
Like Kindergarten, I pored over my first day of class outfit. And, also like Kindergarten, I chose a pink dress.
Like Kindergarten, I took the bus to school (at least, like most Kindergarteners, I was spoiled and got driven).
Unlike Kindergarten, it looked like this:
Like Kindergarten, I had a nutritious lunch to fuel my big day.
Unlike Kindergarten, I cooked it in an oven, and served it with avocado and salsa. I don’t think I even knew what an avocado WAS back in the day.
Like Kindergarten, we all introduced ourselves and said what animal we wish we could be. (Mine was a Jellyfish. No surprise there.)
Unlike Kindergarten, we followed up with what school/program we were from… This was different unless you had PhD candidates for Bioengineering in your Kindergarten classes. I’m 98% sure we did not (though who knows about that one geeky kid with the swanky Lunchables container he designed himself…)
Like Kindergarten, we had snack time in the middle of class.
Unlike Kindergarten, snack time consisted of Rainier cherries, goat cheese, manchego, cracked pepper water crackers, and Pirouettes.
Like Kindergarten, we were all eager to learn and meet each other.
Unlike Kindergarten, the plans we made for the future were not for playdates and sandbox trysts, but for happy hours and Restaurant Week.
And, as I got home after class and sat down to a dinner of crock-pot pulled pork and a bit of reading for my next class, I realized that, even though the (used) textbook I’m reading is titled Health Behavior and Health Education and doesn’t have ANY pictures, just like Kindergarten, it’s filled with illegible handwriting that might as well have come from a 5-year old.
Ah, it’s good to know some things will never change.
What was your favorite thing about the first day(s) of school?
7 thoughts on “Grad School vs. Kindergarten”
Yay first day!! I used to get SO nervous on the first day of school. Butterflies! But I was always so excited to use my new supplies and of course see who my new boy crush was going to be.
All the butterflies are belong to me. Except, as there are approximately 4 boys in my entire course (and that little part where I’m taken), I guess no crushes. Lord knows I got some friend-crushes though. Fingers crossed they come to fruition!
I really liked seeing everyone again. I barely slept the night before and I would go over my outfit a million times.
I will live vicariously through you and Lennie. He had a first day and sent me photos and got major swag.
My favorite part of the first day of school?? No homework!!
Love the analogy!
I’ll be graduating undergrad in December (University of Michigan) and I’m debating on applying to a MPH-Health Behavior Health Education program. I’m not sure if it’d be more beneficial for me to get out in the field and work first or to go straight through. Any advice?
Looking forward to hearing more about your MPH adventures!
Welcome to Philly!
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