Advice for Your First Week

By: The Class of 2016

Hello Class of 2017! We are so excited that you will be joining us in Atlanta in less than a week (!!!). The first week is a mini introduction to pretty much everything about the program and what it’s going to be like. It may seem overwhelming at first, but you will adjust and soon enough it will be fall! To help you get through your first week, we wrote down some general advice for you :). Remember that your second year mentors are always here for you if you have any questions or anything at all!

Don’t worry about all the things you have to do. Yes, you will have a lot of things to do, and it may seem overwhelming at times. Do your very best and at the end of the day you can be proud of yourself for that. Everything on the to do list might not get done, but as long as you did your best, that is all that matters. -Amanda

When things get tough and you start to question why you’re here in the first place (this will most likely happen at some point) just remember at least one thing that drove you to choose this path and have faith that your best efforts and your passion will help you along the way. One quote that I frequently remember has always helped me at times when I’ve doubted myself or my abilities, “To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” Hopefully it will also help some of you and know that you can always confide in a second year or fellow classmate for support! – Jamie

Don’t compare yourself to others or overthink criticism that you might receive. Remember that we were all chosen to come to this program because we were the best of the best and we all come with different strengths and weaknesses. Continue to remind yourself of what your strengths are, that we are all here to learn, and nobody is perfect the first time. You will be amazed by how much you accomplish in very little time. – Ellie Grad school can feel incredibly overwhelming at times. However, it is always important to remember that you are not alone! Your classmates are dealing with the same things that you are dealing with. So, be there for each other as a resource, as a support system, and as a friend! I know that sounds mushy, but I never would have made it through the first year if I didn’t have all of my amazing classmates! -Megan

My advice would be to ask as many questions as you can. We (second years) are a great resource. We’ve learned through experience and mistakes what works and what doesn’t and we’re extremely happy to share it with you guys. The same goes for all the teachers you’ll have. If you have a questions, no matter how small or silly you think it is, ask it. You never know what you might learn. – Sarah P. My advice is to enjoy yourselves during the graduate school experience. You will be completely immersed in your education for the next two years, with little time for much else, but if you just accept that up front, you will be able to truly enjoy challenging yourselves to grow as a professional. You will put in many hours of hard work, but the reward will be great. I am just on the cusp of believing that I can actually do this whole genetic counseling thing and that is a truly gratifying feeling. -Caitlin My advice is to start preparing to see patients. As you are learning, think of how this may be applicable in the future. Some assignments may seem less applicable in the patient setting, but may be vital in the research setting. Keep the slides/notes/etc from lectures to help you in your rotations. Keep/print out the booklets or pamphlets that you are getting. You may get a chance to use them in the future. Do not be afraid of not knowing or asking questions. You are here to learn and they do not expect you to know everything right away. Asking a question shows you are interested and actively learning. -Dora Finally, allow ample time for Atlanta traffic on your first day. If you are driving, keep in mind that the roads can have pretty heavy traffic going into school. If you are taking the bus, keep in mind the same thing as well as allowing time for stops to pick up other people. I also would advise you to take the bus before the last bus that would get you there on time. I have taken the North Dekalb Mall route pretty regularly, and it runs every 10-15 mins or so. It takes between 20 and 45 minutes to get from the mall to school, depending on traffic. Download the app transloc if you haven’t already, it is a great app to track the bus and is fairly accurate. Have an absolutely wonderful first week. We are so glad you chose Emory and have every confidence that you will succeed. Looking forward to meeting all of you again and getting to know you better! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask your mentor :). ~Class of 2016~