You don’t have to participate in GSAC

Dear fellow graduate students,

I know you’re busy. Life is tricky right now, with school, work, family, the pandemic, holidays, housework…. Life is heavy on your shoulders, and it sometimes sucks trying to balance it all.

How are we supposed to add the Graduate Student Advisory Council and iSchool listserv to the pile? Who wants to add one more thing when there is already SO MUCH to juggle?

Let me be the first to tell you: You don’t have to.

NO commitments necessary. You don’t have to participate in GSAC. (Silly name, yeah?)

I would like to share with you, though, my feeling of isolation during graduate school. Maybe you can relate?

When I started at Kent, I knew no one within my program, had no connection to my professors and felt as though I were floating in the ether, tied to no one and nothing, yet anchored by this idea that I must flourish, network, and learn to become the grand master of some profession within the next two years. I put pressure on myself to make this experience worth the investment, to the best of my capability. Yet, I wasn’t sure I knew where or how to start. Do any of us?

I made many mistakes – reaching out to those who weren’t interested, putting my foot in my mouth with professors, and trying to connect with someone who might be a mentor. I also got lucky along the way, creating exceptional friendships and finding not one, but two talented and wise advisors. But I know we don’t all have this luck. Some are still swimming in the ether or sinking in debt and writing assignments.

And here’s where GSAC might help. We’re a modge podge of individuals just like you, trying to do our best during grad school. We’re trying to connect with colleagues and mentors, find jobs, build research, and create a small space of humanity and connection within this remote and fairly private experience.

I’ve never even set foot on Kent State’s campus, have you?

Here is one place where you can connect with others to share stories, hopes, advice, knowledge, and experience. Meet experts in a comfortable setting to chat and ask real questions. Have someone with experience look over your resume/CV. Lift up others in this community to be the best that they can be.

You don’t have to. It’s hard being an introvert and being asked to share yourself. It’s tiring to be on the computer so much nowadays. It’s challenging to People when we’re out of practice.

You can be a fly on the wall, if you wish. Draw or play a game on your phone while listening to the conversations in your earbuds. I show up in my pajamas, camera off, with a drink in hand (tea, of course! Yeah, that’s right… TEA).

We’d LOVE for you to join and make these next few months, semesters, or years a little bit better. And maybe one day you’ll want to share something, too.

Please join me. Join us. Join GSAC. (Seriously, can’t there be a better name?)

Thanks for reading, friends. I hope to see your name pop up in one of our Zooms.

Heather Irvin Hauser
MLIS/MKM Representative