Andrea Obah: “How I Make It Work”

“How I Make It Work” is a new blog feature designed to highlight the diversity of student experiences while attending MSP.  From students fresh out of undergrad to professionals who are retraining for a new career, MSP welcomes students wherever they are in life.  Andrea Obah (MA) shares her experience below.

Andrea Obah
Andrea Obah

Name: Andrea Obah

Current Program: Full Time MA

Describe the (joys and) challenges in your life that make graduate school difficult to manage.

Learning at MSP is different than undergrad, in a good way! The style is laid back, and the teachers care that students are really learning something.

What makes the program challenging is the volume of work! There is a lot of reading, a lot of papers, and you’ll spend a lot of time in class. You really have to immerse yourself in it when enrolled full-time.

How do you make it work?

I figure out what it takes to be successful in each class, and do just that! It’s hard to go wrong when you reduce distractions, and do the work required for every assignment. I tend to give myself multiple days to complete long readings, assignments, and papers.

What are some tips or secrets you have for staying organized with a busy schedule?

I live off the schedule I create in my phone’s calendar. Find a way that works for you to be intentional about how you’ll get things done. Also, look at the syllabus at least two days before each class to avoid unpleasant “surprises.”

How do you make time for yourself?

Plan out your work and rest in advance. I seldom do anything academic on Friday nights or Saturdays because I plan on getting my work done before then.

How do you avoid feeling overwhelmed?

I have abandoned the notion that I can do everything- I can’t. Certain things will fall to the wayside, and that’s okay. If you care about your work and you’re trying your best, it will show, and it will be good enough.

What support have you received from MSP?

The faculty and staff here really want to help you. They care about the students, and try to make this schooling experience a pleasant one.

What advice would you give a prospective student who is worried he or she can’t make grad school work?

If you want it badly enough, there’s no better place to make it work than MSP. You can do it!