Self-learning, a result of independence, is perhaps the ultimate prize. Self-learning can be external and internal. On the surface grad school appears to be a very externally focused experience because there is always a deliverable on the horizon and a due date to be met.
Yet it is through the combination of rising to seemingly innumerable challenges, interacting with peers and instructors and their ideas, and balancing work and private lives among many other variables that grad students will likely learn about themselves.
Adversity is its own education and sometimes it does not occur in ways that are so easily anticipated.
A Powerful Combination
The combination of independence and self-learning suggests a way of engaging the world that is only partly bounded by your academic degree achievement(s). The degree may define the nature and area of your expertise but it also suggests critical thinking skills vitally needed in an increasingly globalized world.
That increasing complexity may touch on a variety of related fields or topics that affect grad students in ways not previously seen, which may require not so much academic mastery than independent self-learning as a coping skill.
The ubiquity of technology is one example; however, the greatest potential impacts may be how individuals cope with the effects of technology or of policy decisions that have global effects and with which our generation and successive generations will likely have to engage.
Best of luck in your future studies!
About the Author
Scott Hibbard is a second-year Utica College ECM Grad Student (ABT). He is scheduled to submit his ECM thesis by December 2015.