Daily life is hectic. So much so that we often forget to stop and examine the big picture. Endings and beginnings are important opportunities for self evaluation. Graduate students experience several beginnings and endings each year, with each semester. The end of the Spring semester, and the academic year, is a particularly valuable opportunity to examine the past and plan for the future. Start your own self-analysis by considering your responses to these questions.
Consider the last academic year
- How did my year begin?
- What did I expect from my coursework?
- What were my research plans?
- What were my professional goals?
- Were my expectations met?
- What surprised me this year?
- What disappointed me this year?
- If I could do anything over, what would I choose?
- What are my academic strengths and weaknesses?
- How might I address these weaknesses?
- What have I learned this year? Academically? Personally?
- What surprised me? Disappointed?
- If I could do anything over, what would I choose? What would I do differently?
Given all that you've considered, what can you conclude about your year? What will you do differently next year? Every semester is a new beginning. And each semester's close brings an opportunity for reflection and renewal.