When Life Does Not Mix with Graduate School

    Posted on Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018
                    As this new semester was on the horizon, my car was vandalized. I was frustrated and overwhelmed, but that did not stop the world from turning.
                    I walked outside one Sunday morning and opened the door for my passenger’s side to put my bag on the seat. I saw white dust covering the black seats and was confused; time seemed to move so slowly in that moment as I tried to put the pieces together of this puzzle. I looked up, and saw that my driver’s side window had a bullet hole. I immediately went into a panic. This was the first time anything like this happened to me. I scoured my car making sure nothing was stolen (to my surprise, nothing was) and looking for the bullet. As I found the bullet, I called the cops, my insurance, and my mom (to have a good cry).
                    Anyone who has been in a similar situation or a car accident knows that these problems do not just get fixed with one phone call to the insurance agency and a couple of days of repair. It took three weeks (THREE WEEKS!) to get my window fixed; I was in and out of the repair shop and on and off phone calls with my insurance agency for most of that time. I was not in the mental mindset to start a new semester, and with everything going on, I could not get myself there.
    One thing that I regret doing was not contacting my professors when the semester started to let them know my situation. Sometimes, contacting a professor seems like a daunting task because you do not know if they will understand where you're coming from. I will say, that many professors are truly understanding of these situations; you just need to be honest and timely with your delivery. In the wake of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I had many professors reach out to us and asking if we needed any extra time with assignments or shared their condolences. The Aggie spirit is alive and well in our instructors and we should not be afraid to reach out.
                    Life happens despite our busy schedules. And before we get completely derailed or burnt out from all the stress, we need to utilize our resources and reach out to the people who can help us get through it. Take this as your cautionary tale to reach out to your professors when life's hand gets a little too rough. You will thank yourself for it.

    Vanessa Rodriguez
    Vanessa is a Masters student in the Curriculum & Instruction (STEM Emphasis) program.

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