He Chose Me

May 15, 2017 I received my master’s degree, and all I can say is:

He chose me.

The apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:10:

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

In other words, I can’t take the credit.  Everything I am is only because of His grace.

He chose me.

On the day of my graduation, the Lord reminded me that I could not even attribute my success to my intellect, as I had the same intellectual ability when I was making some very stupid decisions.  I don’t have my master’s degree because I’m so smart.  Nope, not at all.  I have my master’s degree because of His grace.

He chose me.

Some people have life stories that allow them to make the mistake of attributing their success to factors outside of God.  Even then it’s a mistake, but I do understand.  They think they’re successful because they’ve made all the right decisions, or because of their family background.  Well, personally I have no opportunity to take the credit for anything.  I know where I’ve come from.  I know where I started.  I know where I was going before I accepted Jesus into my heart, and I can see what He has done with me.  

He chose me.

I can’t boast of success because even with a master’s degree I know I have not arrived.  I know I am still being perfected in His sight.  My master’s degree has to stay in its place when it comes to my life, and I will not exalt it higher than I will exalt the One who blessed me with it.  A master’s degree is an applaudable accomplishment, but it doesn’t come close to knowing Jesus in an intimate way.  I praise Him and thank Him for allowing me to obtain such a degree while living my life on His earth. It’s all because of Him.

He chose me.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  – Philippians 3:13-14

He chose me.

Margo

Graduate School: 7 months shy of holding my master’s degree

Today it hit me: I am 7 months shy of earning my master’s degree.  My first thought was “Wow, I can’t believe it’s so close.”  Secondly, I’m sitting here asking myself “How did I get here?”  So, how did I…

1. Purpose. I remember when I used to go to college intermittently because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I’ve always valued education but I haven’t always been clear on my purpose.  I thank God for saving my soul and growing me up in Him.  One of the greatest gifts that He has given me is the awareness of my purpose.  Knowing your purpose gives you focus…

2. Focus. It’s hard to move forward without focus.  We are all faced with distractions but I feel that in order to progress you have to focus your energies.  I’m a firm believer in staying focused on what’s important.  I understand that I can’t be everywhere, do everything, and please everyone.  I have to know what I need to do and just do that.  I have to keep my focus where it needs to be and ignore everything else.

3. Strength. In order to move forward you must be strong.  Nothing worth having comes easy, so we must know that we’ll have to overcome some things.  You won’t always feel strong but as Paul wrote “for when I am weak, then I am strong.” – II Corinthians 12:10

4. Growth. I think it’s a waste of time and money to grow in knowledge without growing in character.  College should be taken seriously.  We should grow in our decision-making, communication skills, relationships, and so on.  We should be committed to growth in every area of our lives if we really want to get our money’s worth.

5. Support. There is only so much we can do by ourselves so I thank God for always placing people in my lives when I needed them.  God will truly provide all of our needs when we are committed to serving Him.  I got married around the time I was finishing up with my bacheolor’s degree and at the time of graduation I had no intention of going to graduate school.  I thank God for a godly, encouraging, supportive husband.       

Margo

Graduate School Update

This semester I’ve started my second and final year of graduate school & you know what has amazed me the most?  How fast the time has gone.  It seems like it was more challenging to complete my associate’s degree than my master’s degree.  Maybe because while working on my associate’s degree I was younger, less mature, less grounded, and had less figured out.  The early 20’s can be complex to say the least.

Being in graduate school at 30 helps me I’m sure.  I’m more stable, more focused, and more grounded which helps me to stay focused on my goal.  

Graduate school is not easy, but it is gratifying.  One thing that has allowed me to progress so fast is that my first semester I took 10 hours (9 hours is full-time in graduate school), the second semester I took 9, I took 6 hours during the summer, which has left me with 2 courses and my final capstone project.  Yes, I’m 2 courses and a project away from my master’s degree.  Thank You, Jesus.

The majority of the courses have been enjoyable.  Only one has made me cry (I think) and it was statistics.  It was a four week summer course and I know there was no better time for me to take it than when I did.  My previous courses prepared me and I have developed into a flexible learner to understand that although all things may not come easy to me, I have to understand how I can learn material that I don’t grasp as easily.  By the time you’re in graduate school you learn how to learn.

Research is a major part of graduate school.  “According to research” and “research has found” becomes apart of your vocabulary.  Opinions and unsupported statements stand out.  And they are rare.

Reading, writing, and presentations also play a big role.  You read in order to analyze and apply theoretical concepts, you write with clarity and strategy, and you present with confidence and few “umms”.  

Overall, I can say that I’m enjoying  graduate school and I’m thankful to have made it to this point in my educational journey.

Oh, and as I write we’re expecting Weslee Nichole in 5 weeks and 3 days.  🙂

Margo

Graduate School: “I feel so inspired and focused.”

Tonight I presented a lecture over ethics in news and it was my longest presentation ever.  My partner and I were responsible for the full lecture for our 2.5 hours class.  I must say, WE DID PHENOMENAL!

I walked away feeling so proud, inspired, and relieved.  The primary reason for going for my master’s is because I want to teach communication at the college level.  I feel capable.  I am just so thankful to God to be where I am today.  I recognize that I am in a very special place, and I do not take it for granted.

Our presentation covered a journalism code of ethics, context and balance in news reporting, priming, stereotypes, representations of black athletes, as well as our own personal code of ethics.

We included videos that featured Dan Rathers, Barbara Walters, and we closed with the Oprah Winfrey.

As far as my personal code of ethics: I want my being to fuel my doing (yes, I got that from Oprah), I never want to compromise who I am in order to do something.  Secondly, I always want to know my right and wrong, recognizing that it may not be the same for everyone, but I want to know what’s right and wrong for me.

Today was a good day.

Margo

Time moves, regardless.

What are you doing with your time?  

The answer to this question will tell you what you’re doing with your life.  A few years ago, when I was considering law school,  I read something that has stuck with me.  It basically said, 3 years is going to come anyway.  At that point my thinking shifted from saying “law school will take too long” to “I want to do whatever the Lord’s will is for me to do.”  Now, I get it.

Next year is right around the corner, and 5 years will pass before we know it.  One of the best things we can do is manage our time.  Time is one of the few things we don’t get again.  Once today is over it’s gone forever, no re-dos.  Why cherish our money more than our time when money comes and goes.  Hold money with a loose grasp, but hold your time tighter.

What do you want to make of  yourself?  Your life?  What do you want to accomplish?  It is imperative to figure those tough questions out and then work yoru plan.  Whatever you do, time will move regardless.  

My first semester of graduate school is done and I have to say that I’m proud of how I’m using my time.  Hard work pays off.  Don’t think for one second that anything worth having comes easy.  It doesn’t.

Use your time wisely.

Margo

Graduate College vs. Regular College

Yesterday I finished a 15 page, 10 question exam.  Today I printed a 12 page study guide for a final exam that will cover EVERYTHING from the entire semester.  5 minutes ago I decided I should write about the differences between graduate college and regular college…

  • There’s a much more complex admittance process.  It’s not difficult, there’s just more to do.  You have to apply, submit all transcripts, submit references, and take the GRE.  The GRE is somewhat challenging (at least the math part for me), but it won’t dictate your acceptance.  Some schools weigh it more than others.  Prepare as much as you can and just do your best.  The cool thing is that it’s multiple choice.  🙂
  • There’s much more work!  At this point, you’ll be focusing solely on subjects that you care about, for example I’m working on a master’s of science in communication and this semester I’m taking: Theories of Persuasion (which is very interesting), Research Methods (which is valuable, but demands a lot of time), and Adolescent Development (which is basically a minor course, and I’m really enjoying it).  So, even though it’s more work it’s not all that challenging.  You will read a lot.  For the adolescent course I’ve read 3 books in full at this point!  And still going.  Also, you will write a lot.  Basically, that’s what I do.  Read and write.  Different material among the courses, but the same process.
  • There’s much less support.  My first week or so of graduate school was pretty frustrating.  I emailed my research professor a paper in advance so he could give me feedback before it was due (because that’s what good students do, right?), but he wouldn’t give me feedback.  He replied and told me if he can’t do it for everyone he couldn’t do it for me.  I immediately started a response back to him, but I didn’t send it.  I guess I just vented.  After I calmed down, I got it. He can’t hold my hand.  I have to trust myself and do my best.

Hopefully this was helpful.  If you are considering graduate college or regular college, just make the best decision for you!

Once you do, trust yourself and do your best and it will all work out.  🙂

Margo

College: Work Hard, Don’t Rush

It’s 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday and what am I doing?  An exam.

It’s for a theories of persuasion course and it’s a take home 10 question exam.  Sounds easy, huh?  Well, it’s not.  It’s like writing 10 essays and if I want A’s I must be thorough, detailed, and I better cite.  On each question.  The last question took me 40 minutes to answer and that’s doing pretty good.

Want to succeed in college?  Work hard and don’t rush.  In order to do that, you must manage your time.  You have to prioritize and accept the fact that you can’t do everything.  Not all at once, anyway.  

If you’re in college and want to succeed you probably won’t make it to every party.  You probably won’t enjoy every Saturday, but that’s okay.  You will have way more parties and Saturdays after college.  Accept that.  And think about it, you’ll have a college degree which equates to more money, which equates to more fun.  But right now you have to focus on college.

Another thing that keeps me focused is that I only get one grade.  There are no re-do’s in college.  Once you get the grade that’s it.  There are no edits to GPA’s.  Nope.  So, do your best now and smile later.

Prioritize, work hard, don’t rush, and know that it will pay off.  You’re not in college forever so work hard while you’re there.

Margo