Elizabeth Best ’15 Shares Grad School Tips

Posted on December 7th, 2015 by

Elizabeth Best '15

Elizabeth Best ’15

Hello Psychological Science Gusties!

My name is Elizabeth Best and I graduated from Gustavus last spring, 2015. I am writing to you all about how life is going as a graduate student. I am attending John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California studying Sport Psychology. I am in a unique dual degree program where I am on track to get my Masters in Sport Psychology and my PsyD in Clinical Psychology with concentration in sport. I wanted to reach out and tell you about my process with applying, getting in, moving across the country, and making the transition to grad school. I am almost done with my first quarter of grad school and am so excited to continue in my program. Grad school is vastly different from undergrad. The application varies between schools and some places interview or don’t based on the program. I applied to four grad schools, which is a good number I feel because application fees are enormous.

When you start researching, look into the top schools for your desired program, and do it early. I looked in books and the internet for the best grad schools for Sport Psychology, made a list and looked into each school more. Get great letters of recommendation and go to the writing center for help with personal statements, I did and it was the best decision I could have ever made. Moving into the selection process of grad schools, I was really blown away by all of them, but you also have to really think of your future and where you want to be. For me, I wanted to go somewhere new, exciting and vastly differently than Minnesota. The bay area in California offered much more to me than any other place I applied to. Do your research about the area around the school, the program, and other resources you could possibly think of, being proactive and ahead of the game is going to be your best bet. This is the point in life where you learn what you actually want to do with that degree and what education you want to pursue to make your career happen.

As for the grad school itself, it is difficult. There is by far way more reading and papers than in undergrad. However, when you are taking classes you like and are interested in, it makes it a lot easier. You become a great time manager in grad school and learn to operate on little sleep if you don’t do that already. You take way more responsibility in your education and yourself because you are expected to do it all because you are in grad school and an adult.  The most important thing is to really bond with your classmates, because they are going to help you through it and be beside you the whole time. I have a great support system in Minnesota, but that doesn’t help on the day to day here in California. Having my friends here, makes the transition so much easier.

Thanks for your time Gusties! If you have any further questions about grad school, the transition, or the field of Sport Psychology please feel free to contact me: ebest@email.jfku.edu

Have a wonderful end of fall semester, Elizabeth Best ’15



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