Academics

5 Years Later… What I learned from my Undergrad

I cannot believe I graduated from my Bachelors 5 years ago. I spent 4 and a half years working hard to achieve the 2nd steeping stone of my education. I started my undergrad on my birthday in 2009 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in politics. To think that I even graduated high school almost 10 years ago is crazy. Literally, my high school is planning our 10 year reunion for May… this is crazy to think about. 

Going back and revisiting what I learned form my undergrad takes a lot. I learned much about myself during my “college” years, and while probably should have made better decisions, I would not change a thing as it made me who I am today. Academically though, there are many steps I could have taken that would have made my days much simpler. For example, I would have just put my major as a double major in History and International Politics or Spanish from the beginning. I changed my major a good total of 5 times and that is not to count how many times I changed minors. I am glad I did my undergrad in the states because I change my mind too much to have been stuck with the same subjects for 3 years in the UK. 

Once I failed accounting and decided that nothing computers would bring me passion, I changed my major my junior year the 1st week of school. I went from computer information systems to computer sciences to finally history in the span of a summer. My first week of school my junior year was a week of discoveries. I learned that history as a minor was not going to satisfy my thirst for knowledge of the world, that I was horrible at coding, and that I was going to be studying for the next 10 years if I was going to be a historian. So, I put forth a plan that would be reconstructed several times in that same year.  

My junior year was a year of discoveries in general. I discovered that I liked politics (something I should have realized when I first said I wanted to be a lawyer but then changed my mind). I also discovered that studying Spanish was something I enjoyed even if I was horrible at grammar. The last major thing I discovered was that I loved to travel… as much as I could. And while I did not travel much as a lower class undergrad, once I joined my sorority sophomore year I knew that travel was in my future. After taking several history, Spanish, and politics classes (or modules), I knew that I had to study abroad. So, during my senior year, I took a leap and got accepted to study at the University of Nottingham for a semester. 

During that semester abroad, I learn much about myself and I improved in many other things. I learned to write better, to have more reading comprehension, and I learned how different the school systems are between the states and the UK. I took modules in history and politics, and I did not do so well. I passed but not with flying colors like I previously had. Studying in the UK opened my eyes to how hard and intense university can be in the UK. It does not matter how bad I did in my study abroad, I learned so much that those bad grades were worth it. 

After coming back home from my semester abroad, I ended up taking international politics, model UN, Mexican literature, and computer basics. My semester GPA 3.75, my best semester in all of my college career (besides summers). Studying abroad ended up giving me the tools to do even better once I headed home. 

While I did not graduate with honors, my undergrad career helped me so much in my masters degree. Without my study abroad, without me changing my major so many times, I would have done a horrendous job in my Masters. So thank you Georgia State University for giving me an amazing 4 and a half years of memories and experiences. 

Best of all!

PhD serie

The PhD application process: Introduction

Howdy!

Today, we will be starting a new series of post. These post will be all about the process of applying for a PhD or doctorate degree. While I have not been accepted (yet) and my application is in process, I want to start documenting my adventure and some points and mistakes I have made that you can avoid.

Applying for a PhD is actually more stressful than I thought, specially when you want to specialise on a topic not that popular in terms of how many professors are out there in the UK for my field. I specialise in the memory and history of the Spanish Civil War and how it was and is commemorated throughout Spain. On top of not finding many supervisor on my field, I also have another criteria: there has to be a International Christian Church in the town that I go. For my masters, I went to Newcastle University, and the closest church was 6 hours away by bus (which was the cheapest mean of transportation). And while I got a merit in both my dissertation and on my degree, I believe I could have done much better if I had a church in my university town. So, this time I will make sure to be as close to a church as I can. Meaning finding a supervisor in a very small pool of supervisors.

I send emails to about 7 supervisors who specialise in Spanish history of some sort. It has taken me months between researching schools and looking for supervisors that are first in my field, and secondly, that are willing to supervise me. After months of searches, I found a supervisor at a university where there is one of my churches. I praise God that he made this possible, for without Him it would not be possible. God also made possible for me to be able to write a good research proposal in a good amount of time.

Writing a research proposal deserves its own post, so I will make a video blog and a post about it. It will be it’s own post because it is so critical for you to have a plan on a thesis statements that you will develop into a proposal, and later project.

So, in conclusion, what you can take from this post is to PLAN AHEAD OF TIME! Always plan everything make timelines, keep a journal with notes, keep a calendar, and always flag emails from professors and universities you are interested in.

So I hope you look forward to this blog series!

All the love!!