Meet with your Advisor

Today I met with my advisor to talk about Grad school and make a plan for the next year. I don't have many classes to take next year, but I do need to build my GPA back up. During my struggles to get diagnosed and treated for fibromyalgia, my grades dropped significantly. I think many people understand the struggle to stay employed or enrolled in college while dealing with an illness, much less managing both. As I look at grad schools, I see a lot of places that would not look at my application because of the GPA cut off. Together, my advisor and I came up with an achievable plan to get me into a program.

I'm going to take a beginning computer science course this summer, which I actually need to take as a prerequisite for many of these programs anyway. This course is actually impossible to get into during the normal school year due to the exclusion of seniors from the class (to allow room for the freshmen and sophomores who need it for their major). Taking it during the summer allows me to focus on the class and do much better on it than otherwise. In the past when I have taken summer classes, I found the much slower pace made it easier to manage both my pain levels and the course itself.

A second part of the plan is that this summer, I'm going to visit the nearest program. Because I'm only a few hours away from that school, this is not too bad of a day trip. My advisor told me to really look into the research backgrounds of a few of the professors teaching the courses. Then when I show up, I'll know who to talk to, and I will have something to talk about. Making a personal connection with the department will really help the application process, as I can ask questions and have someone there to update me on where decisions are.

Getting into grad school after a battle with an illness (or two or three) isn't easy, but your school and department have resources to help you out. Meeting with your advisor will help, as they will listen to your situation and know where to start from there to help you meet your goals. Even if you feel like they won't listen to you, or you have had someone dismiss your goals in the past, you won't know how best to achieve your goals without the advice of your advisors. So meet with your advisors when you have questions!


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