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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 …

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 …

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 …

Practicing Self-Care (Even When It’s Hard)

September 30, 2020

Hey y’all,

So self-care has become a bit of a buzzword recently. But what does self-care actually mean? What does self-care look like for you?

According to Psych Central¹, “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.”

Self-care isn’t the same as just treating yourself, as a lot of people in the media may promote. Self-care isn’t always doing what’s easy or being indulgent. For me, practicing self-care means instead of lying in bed and scrolling through Twitter (easy), getting up and going on a run (sometimes hard). It means packing a healthy lunch for the next day …

Resilience at Mason in 2020: Take Care of Yourself

September 16, 2020

By Lewis Forrest II, Associate Dean within University Life 

In 2017, I wrote a blog for Graduate Student Life on Resilience at Mason. It seems so long ago, and the world was a very different place. This year has been a rollercoaster, and we all have everyday challenges that come with being graduate students. 2020 on the other hand, has brought us all stressors that we could not have imagined.  

While life brings many challenges, I’d like to specifically acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggle for racial justice via the Black Lives Matter Movement. While COVID-19, has changed the way we operate on a day-to-day basis, it has also challenged our resilience. This pandemic has …

Welcome to the Mason Grad Insider Blog!

September 2, 2020

By Nikita Thadani and Austin A. Deray

We would like to welcome all new and continuing graduate and professional students to the 2020-2021 year! We know classes and campus operations may not be how you had imagined this semester, but we are confident that we will all make an amazing experience out of it nonetheless. The Mason Grad Insider blog is sponsored by Graduate Student Life and will feature great content, with contributions from colleagues in departments across campus. This blog was created to give graduate students a voice and be a guide and resource during their graduate career at Mason. Mason grad students can expect to find a wide …

Study Groups: The Thing to Do in Graduate School

October 9, 2019

By Austin Deray

Since coming to Mason, I have been asked the same question repeatedly from other graduate students coming to our offices’ events: “What should I do as a graduate student?” I must confess it always takes me by surprise, and then I find myself propelled back in time to 2013 when I was working on my master’s. I remember being given two pieces of advice by my professor and mentor at the time, Dr. Jane Rago, both of which were ironically enough supported by research that she had no idea existed: lean on your cohort and connect with a study group. I have written about the importance of …