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5 Reasons You Should Get a Plant (or Several)

Image of a jade plant, panda plant, and 3 other succulents in pots May 5, 2021

By Nikita Thadani

Something you may not know about me is that I’m what my friends would call a “crazy plant lady.” My interest in plants began in high school when I got my first cactus as a birthday present from a friend, and although that cactus eventually died, my collection of ‘plant babies’ continued to grow. While I started my collection small with just a couple of plants, I now have 16 plants that I love! These include a variety of different kinds of plants, including an air plant, a terrarium, cacti, succulents, a peace lily, an orchid, and more. It’s fun to challenge myself with a new plant …

Service Isn’t Just for Undergrads

April 26, 2021

By Shauna Rigaud, PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies

I’ve always understood that community sustains me. When I was a kid, I was involved in all the afterschool programs I could find. Not just because I knew my mom would not allow me to just hang out at my friends’ house or randomly go to the mall afterschool, but because I saw the unique opportunity those programs offered me to find friendship, give back and learn in untraditional ways. I didn’t always think that was the case (I really just wanted to hang out with my friends), but each opportunity that I became involved with helped to build my appreciation for …

What Should You Order from Starbucks (and Other Coffee Shop Suggestions)

Image of a latte with a heart shaped latte art, in the background is another coffee cup with a crunchy waffle snack on top. April 8, 2021

by Nikita Thadani

 

As you all may or may not know, in addition to my role here in Graduate Student Life, I am also a barista of almost five years! I started working at a coffee shop during my freshman year of undergrad and worked there for three years, and have since been working at Starbucks for the past couple years. When I’m starting a study session or settling into an evening class, there’s nothing I love more than doing it with a fresh cup of coffee or tea. Although my time at Starbucks is coming to an end as I will be starting my counseling practicum soon, I’d …

Quick Tips to Being a Mentor to Undergrads!

March 25, 2021

by Austin A. Deray

 

Good day, Mason graduate students! I hope y’all are having a good Spring 2021 and beginning to enjoy the warmer weather. Today’s blog was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my many writing groups (y’all know I love a writing group: “Virtual Writing Communities: How Can We Work Together, while We Stay Apart?”), and I decided to bring it to everyone this week on Mason’s Grad Insider… so let’s get to talking about mentoring. 

A lot of time in grad school, we talk about finding a mentor (“What to Look for in a Mentor”), but recently, one of  my writing groups had …

Finding Balance Between School, Work, and Life

March 3, 2021

By Kerry Hentges, Programming and Administrative Coordinator for University Life SciTech, pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at George Mason

I decided to apply for graduate school 6 years after graduating with my Bachelor’s of Fine Art. I had decided I wanted to be an art teacher, and graduate school was the next step in that process. I was excited to get back into art-making and learn new techniques.

The first thing I was told upon entering graduate school was that I was going to make bad art. The next thing I was told was that I wasn’t even going to have time to sleep during the next …

Backwards Design for Maximizing your Time in Graduate School

February 17, 2021

By Shannon N. Davis, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology

Edited by Austin A. Deray. Leadership and Advising, Graduate Student Life

 

It seems kind of silly but a question that many people ask new graduate students is, “When are you going to finish?” You begin your graduate program with a goal in mind and possibly even a deadline by which that you anticipate completing your degree. But how about we think about this differently. Think only about having your degree as the endpoint. Don’t you want your time that you spend pursuing your degree to yield not only the degree but also launch you into a successful …

“Am I on mute?” Interviewing for a Job in 2021

February 4, 2021

By Kristin P. Leonato, Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives, University Career Services

 

“Job interviews are the worst,” shared one of my University Career Services colleagues when she interviewed for her current role. Perhaps you agree? Interviews often feel like “the worst” for the people on both sides of the hiring process; hiring decisions have long-term impacts on an organization and for the person being interviewed. Yet interviews are also an opportunity for everyone involved to learn more and think critically about the best way to move forward.

For some, virtual job interviews feel even more complicated or overwhelming compared to in-person interviews. Adding the layer of technology can create …

Meal Prepping: An Aspirational Blog Post

December 2, 2020

Hey Mason Grads,

Nikita here. Today I’m going to write a little bit about meal prepping, and let me be very clear with you: this is an aspirational blog post. I am mildly terrible at remembering to meal prep. The hopes are that in writing and publishing this blog post, I’ll hold myself a little more accountable for doing it!

Meal prep is essential for us working adults (as many of us graduate students are), both to bring to our jobs and to those evening classes. Meal prep is great for many reasons–when you meal prep, you’ll be eating more nutritious food, healthier portions, and saving a lot more money …

Biking through the DMV and These COVID-19 Times

November 11, 2020

Hey y’all, I don’t know about everyone else, but I am finding this pandemic/COVID-19 moment we are currently living to be both neverending, but also stifling. When I was home, where I fled to for summer break, I was on an island and had a beach to walk and rivers to kayak; but alas, since being back in the DMV, I’ve found myself spending more and more time indoors. It is now fall and I still enjoy getting outdoors and the perk of the DMV is that you get to enjoy the fall leaves, a thing I never got in GA.  Don’t get me wrong, on the plus side, it …

Citation Management Systems: Creating Your Own Personal Database

October 28, 2020

Hi Mason Grads,

Nikita here. I’ve recently become a citation management system user at the behest of my lovely boss, Dr. Julie Choe Kim. In particular, I’ve started using Zotero–which is free and open-source, and was created right here at Mason. So, not only is it free, but as Mason students, we get the perk of extra storage space when we register with our GMU email address! Now, hear me out, because I’m not here to be a walking, talking Zotero ad. Let me explain why it works for me.

I am what some might lovingly call a digital hoarder. What does that mean? It means I never delete text …