We’ve just closed out the first full month of the semester, yet it already feels like we’re two months in. Exams and briefings are coming up, and the last vestiges of rust from the long winter break should be shaken off by now. Today is a holiday, but that’s only in the technical sense. Holidays are like weekends in grad school: you don’t have any classes, but that’s just an opportunity for your study group to meet.
My lab group spent several hours discussing our policy issue on Sunday, drawing a complicated flowchart all over the blackboard in a classroom we commandeered. We even had colored chalk, which was quite exciting (yes, colored chalk will excite you in grad school). Today and tomorrow we’ll be at it again, and I anticipate another set of marathon meetings.
When you’re in the thick of things, sometimes it’s good to take a moment to relax or do something enjoyable. On Saturday evening I was convinced to procrastinate my quantitative methods studies and instead hang out and watch the NBA All-Start activities. Although procrastination is not a good thing generally, I think it was a good decision to chill. I had a great time with a good group of guys, talking laughing, eating pizza, and watching basketball. Saturday evening reminded me that it’s important to maintain human contact that doesn’t involvement policy analysis.
With the aforementioned briefings and exams coming up, I don’t expect to have many more opportunities to hang out. I do expect, however, to spend a lot of “quality time” with my lab group. Between the policy lab and quantitative methods (and the demands of grad school in general) I expected to be extremely busy this semester. I also hope to find some quality time to relax and keep perspective.