The third week of the semester has already come and gone. For some, the weeks may be flying by as you occupy your time with classes, studying, work, children, and other schedule demands.
One topic that is often mentioned when referring to undergraduates during their first month on campus is homesickness. However, this topic is rarely brought up in respect to new graduate students. While it is true that there are more undergraduate students away from home for the first time, graduate students may also be away from home for the first time.
New graduate students may often be making the transition from an undergraduate university they called home for the last four years to a new city, new institution, and new challenges. Graduate study is a new and exciting time, but it is also a huge transition from undergraduate study.
My advice for new graduate students who want to do a little more to make Grand Valley feel like home: get involved. It might seem like the answer for undergraduate homesickness, but getting involved can be advantageous for graduate students as well. There are even organizations on campus specifically for graduate students:
1) Graduate Student Association welcomes all graduate students on Wednesday nights from 5-6 p.m. to have dinner and chat before classes. This is a great informal way to meet other students that understand what you are going through.
2) The Seidman College of Business Graduate Student Advisory Board is a way for business students to be a voice for the graduate population that meets directly with Dean Williams. While students must apply and be accepted to become members, I highly recommend interested students take the time to complete the application process. I found being a member of the board not only helped with my leadership skills, but also allowed me to meet other students who are not within my specific program.
Adjustment takes time. Step outside of your comfort zone and try to meet new people. I hope you ultimately feel welcomed and at home at GVSU. Good luck with week four!
Graduate Student Association