A little bit about me: I grew up on a farm in a small town in Nebraska, so it quite a culture shock when I moved to Charleston! Currently, I live in Norman, Oklahoma where I am contiuing my education in Pure Mathematics. I love being outside; whether it’s reading outside, going on walks, or just enjoying the weather. When I’m not studying, I like to bake. Recently, I’ve been attempting to make homemade breads. I also love traveling; a couple of summers ago, Joey Randich and I spent about two months backpacking Europe. My favorite place was Riomaggiore. To be honest, I didn’t have a “real” reason for attending the College of Charleston. I had just graduated from my undergraduate at Wayne State in Nebraska, and I was pretty unsure of what the next step to take in life was (i.e get a job, peace corps, more school, etc). Laura, my friend from high school, had told me about how she loved the College of Charleston; so I decided to apply and go visit. I’m happy I did, I love the Mathematics department; everyone is great and really prepared me for further schooling. I think it was a great fit for me.
What did graduate school teach me? The best thing graduate school taught me was how to be a good student. Not just in the sense of getting good grades, but of wanting to learn the material on a deeper level. And it really taught me how to manage my time between having GA duties, classes, homework, and still enjoying time to myself/with friends. But the main lesson I learned is that graduate school taught me to ACCEPT, OVERCOME, and LEARN from failures and find solutions. And in the end, I am a much stronger person and equipped to better handle things in the real world in my future career. I am confident to say that grad school has made me a much better mathematician, and I value the training/education that I was fortunate enough to receive.
Guess what I’m doing now? I’m in the Ph.D program for Pure Mathematics at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. I’m taking a few classes and teaching college algebra, which is much harder than what I thought!
Advice to graduate students: Take time for yourself. Everyone deserves a break now and then, even if its just to go on a walk or to have a coffee/beer at Kudu. I know my quality of work decreases if I’m not happy. As tough and frustrating as grad school can be, it is important to keep your head up and push through. If you feel like giving up, ask yourself what got you here in the first place. Be proud of how far you have made it. Try to focus on the positives. If you can’t: take a break and revisit whatever is bothering you tomorrow. Yes, it is a long process but you are not the only one faced with something that may seem impossible at first. I’ll just tell you that once you reach the ‘end,’ you will realize how ‘possible’ everything is and actually was in disguise.Go out and conquer the world!
To learn more about our Mathematical Sciences program: http://cofc.edu/academics/graduate-degree-progs/graduatedegreeslist/math.php