With three weeks until Spring Break, it appears that I have reached the height of my second semester in my Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program at the University of Colorado Denver…or have I?
My Spring 2014 semester went from manageable to overwhelming very quickly! Being overwhelmed seems to be a common theme with my studies, if you’ve been following along, hasn’t it? I am only in my sixth week of the semester and I am in over my head. From extensive and complicated group projects, to learning how to use unfamiliar computer software programs, to creating full-blown professional site plan in only a short number of days, this semester is really something. Last semester I felt that I was alone with feeling like I had bitten off more than I could chew, as my program peers were all bright-eyed and excited about the workload, but this time my fellow students are in the same boat. The atmosphere at school is certainly a tense one. But, after all, that’s what graduate school is supposed to be like…right?
Because I still have nine weeks of class meetings and due dates before the semester is over, I am thinking that while it does feel like I’ve reached the pinnacle of workload, this may actually be a false summit. ‘False summit’ is a mountaineering term used when you come to find that you have not reached the top of the mountain after all – even though you thought that you were approaching it. However, with fewer hours of sleep and gym time and a general sense of being in a whirlwind like I haven’t experienced before, it certainly feels like the top.
I suppose it isn’t so bad, though. Spring Break begins in just over two weeks from the date I am writing this! I’m looking forward to it very much. Per the grace of my generous boss, Chris Crigler, I will be taking the entire week off from both school and work. I’ll be spending that time hiking in southern Utah – the entire week. The best part is, one of my favorite colleagues at CAP Management, Samira, will be joining me on this excursion. With this trip to look forward to, I think I can deal with the next couple of weeks of intense pressure. Also, with the perceived rate of time speeding by as I work to maintain my 4.0 GPA, the semester will be done before I know it and I can feel good knowing the graduate school challenge is half over.
If you are interested in the MURP program, check out their website at http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/ArchitecturePlanning/Academics/DegreePrograms/MURP/Pages/MURP.aspx. While very challenging, it is a highly accredited, comprehensive program. While trying, I feel that these experiences will certainly be worth it in the end.