Student Blog Series: Managing the Transition from Undergraduate to Graduate Student

by Hillary Barnes.

The transition from undergraduate student at SJSU to graduate student at Chapman University has certainly been interesting. Academically, the Kinesiology Department at SJSU did a phenomenal job preparing me for the DPT program. Many of the courses I took at SJSU were either right on par or a great stepping-stone to the courses I am taking now. While at SJSU, I griped about having to take prerequisite courses, but looking back, I am grateful to have taken so many unique courses within the department. Many classes, like biomechanics or adapted physical education, are not requirements for PT school, but have helped prepare me for the rigors of graduate school.

The biggest change I have dealt with since being admitted to graduate school is the time commitment. At SJSU, I was able to take a full course load, work part time, be involved in extracurricular activities, and still had time for friends and family. Now, I barely have time to exercise, let alone have a social life! I spend a lot of time studying, but I am learning about material that is interesting and exciting, and I have made great friends in the process.

That said, the best decision I made in regards to transitioning from SJSU to PT school was to take time off. I spent a year working and traveling to see my friends and extended family, and that was the best decision I could have made. It gave me time to decompress and get ready for the next chapter. Grad school is awesome, but it is hard work, and if I hadn’t had that time to relax, I think I would be burnt out by now. The good news is that school goes by fast, I can’t believe I am already ½ way done with the PT program. I feel like I was just recently scrambling to get classes at SJSU!