Just the Bear Facts

To help you get your bearing in Grad School.

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Grads on the Water

As you transition into graduate school, you’ll start to notice how truly different it is from your time as an undergrad. One major difference that you might discover is the lack of diversity in your friend group. This deficiency will not necessarily be in age, race or sex, but rather in academic and career interests. In other words, your friends will probably all be from the same program, your program. It only makes sense. With the extended amount of time you stay on campus, you become close with the people that study, work, and research at the same time and in the same discipline as you. The fact is that there’s not the opportunity to casually meet people like there was in undergrad.

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Enter, the Graduate School Association (GSA). Throughout the year, GSA hosts events that give graduate students a chance to relax and to meet one another outside of the classroom, lab, or library. These events are extremely valuable, especially if you listen to the advice that most students and faculty will announce during your first weeks: meet people outside of your program (because we all need an outlet sometimes). The family-friendly activities include football tailgates, appreciation picnics, and discount days at the Farmer’s Market. However, one of the organization’s most popular events doesn’t even take place on land or include the ultimate marketing tactic of free food (although there was a $1 off Pokey-O’s perk that most certainly did not go unused).

Grads on the Water is an amazing event that brings Baylor’s graduate school population closer to the city of Waco. Partnering with Bicycle World, who merged with Outdoor Waco a few years ago, students have the opportunity to rent a kayak, paddle board, or canoe to freely explore the Brazos River. The rental fee, which is usually $20/hour, was completely covered by GSA for the entire three-hour event. Because of the beautiful (below 100˚) summer’s day, this year’s Grads on the Water was extremely successful. Over 100 graduate students, with their families and friends, paddled under the historic Suspension Bridge while the Alico Building towered in the background and kayaked past the columns of the university’s McLane Stadium and foul poles of the Turner Athletic Complex.

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Events such as Grads on the Water provide an opportunity not only to meet the other 2,000 Baylor graduate students, but to realize your similarities go far behind the classroom. We all go to Baylor. We all live in Waco. We all want the most out of this experience and out of our time here. Among many other things, GSA helps us realize those likenesses, which may be the group’s most important achievement.

You can follow GSA on Facebook and Twitter!

By Matthew Doyen

A Thriving Community

Despite some setbacks, Waco’s rejuvenation continues to be as strong as ever. New businesses are popping up all over town with tourists exiting I-35 by the thousands. A special part of the city, however, is how its full-time residents support their local businesses, as much as its visitors. There were a few extra-tasty openings over the summer that we are more than excited to check out (probably more than once). Here are the five that we’ll most likely visit by week’s end:

Alpha Omega and Pinewood Roasters

The dual-business team renovated a building on Franklin Avenue on the outskirts of Downtown that had sat vacant for over 50 years. Pinewood Roasters rivals Common Grounds and Dichotomy with an impressive specialty coffee menu, while Alpha Omega serves up some of the best Mediterranean food this side of Gibraltar. Mmmmm.

Brü Artisan Coffee

It’s no secret that Wacoans like their coffee and that the city is becoming a destination for coffee lovers and businesses, alike. Brü is located at the new Market Centre, which consumes the ground floor of the historic Praetorian in Downtown. Where is their espresso bar located you ask? Well, in the building’s century-old elevator, of course. It has to be good!


Hey Sugar

Hey Sugar is a real treat for all of your senses! The brightly-colored shop sits on an ever-expanding Austin Avenue in Downtown and offers wide-eyed visitors hundreds of candy, soda, and ice cream varieties. We’re scared to go for fear of never being able to leave.


Magnolia Flour

The Gaines’s positive influence on the city is incredible and their next business venture, Magnolia Flour, is a bakery already receiving accolades. Once we muster up enough guts to brave the crowd at the Silos, we’re going to make sure to stop in and get one of Joanna’s chocolate chip cookies. Just like anything else from the Fixer Upper couple, I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.

Oh My Juice

Located in the same shopping center as Spice Village, Crickets, and Ninfa’s, Oh My Juice provides an option for those looking to refrain from the caffeinated and spirited beverages. OMJ offers delicious, cold-pressed, fresh-made juices and smoothies, as well as salads and acai bowls for those looking for a healthy alternative from the burgers and nachos.

By Matthew Doyen

Ten Events We’re Looking Forward To this Semester!

While some may count down the days to Winter Break, there are still many events to look forward to Baylor and in Waco between now and December. Here are our top nine:

Orientation (August 17)

There’s nothing more exciting than welcoming over two hundred new graduate students into the Baylor community! Students will gather at the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center to begin their day with a hearty breakfast, while meeting their new cohort and GSA representatives. Energetic and informative sessions that are led by graduate school staff members and current students will follow and a President’s Reception (more food!) at Moody Library will conclude the beginning of 250 new adventures.

Traditions Rally (September 1)

The Traditions Rally is always held the Thursday before the first football game of the season. The main event is a headliner concert that has seen Phillip Phillips and Brad Paisley make their way to Waco in the past two years. Free and open to all, we’re excited to see this year’s headliner, Aloe Blacc, perform and, of course, the fireworks!

David McCullough Lecture (September 26)

The Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities was established in 1982 and has grown ever since. This year, we welcome renowned historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, David McCullough. Held in serene Jones Hall in the McCrary Music Building, McCullough’s lecture, The Incomparable Advantage of Intellectual Curiosity, is free and open to all students to attend.

Cultural Arts Festivals (October 1-2)

The arts have been gaining momentum in Waco and may have hit an all-time high when a proposal for a cultural district was sent to the Texas Commission for the Arts. The Cultural Arts Festival brings together local artists, writers, and scientists for a celebration on the banks of the Brazos in Indian Springs Park at the very beginning of the fall season.

Open House (October 6)

In October, the Graduate School will proudly host its first ever Open House. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet faculty and current students, learn more about the admission process, and tour our beautiful campus. If you’re thinking about Baylor for your next step, then this will be the place to be!


Homecoming, Part One: Pigskin Revue (October 13-15)

A Homecoming tradition since 1958, the enormously-popular Pigskin Revue showcases the winning acts from the Spring’s All University Sing competition. With three shows throughout the weekend, performances are complex and colorful Broadway-style musicals. Remember to get your tickets as soon as they become available because they go fast!

Homecoming, Part Two: Homecoming Parade (October 15)

A tradition unlike other any: Baylor’s Homecoming Parade. Since 1909, the Baylor Band and elaborate floats have strolled down Waco’s streets during one of the oldest and largest homecoming parades in the nation. It’s sure to draw an extra-large crowd this year as last year’s edition was cancelled due to inclement weather and we will definitely be among them.

Baylor vs TCU (November 5)

A game unlike any other: Baylor vs TCU. The last time the Horn Frogs came to town was in 2014 when Baylor erased a 21-point deficit with only 11 minutes to play to pull off a stunning 61-58 victory that is still talked about ‘round these parts. After a heartbreaking double overtime loss last year in Fort Worth that was played during a Texas-sized rainstorm and without our first seven or so quarterbacks, we expect nothing less than last minute dramatics from the 2016 rendition, as well.

Oct 11, 2014; Waco, TX, USA; Baylor Bears wide receiver Corey Coleman (1) catches a touchdown pass over TCU Horned Frogs cornerback Ranthony Texada (11) during the first half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Thanksgiving Dinner (TBD) and Christmas on Fifth (December 1)

Two of the best and most loved student activity campus programs are focused around the holidays. The week before Thanksgiving Break, all students and their families are invited to a free turkey feast that takes place on Fountain Mall. A few weeks later, we are treated to a tree lighting ceremony, live nativity, and concert during Christmas on Fifth. These are two events that should not (and will not) be missed!

By Matthew Doyen

Nine Things to Know before Your First Semester in Waco

You know that a new year is upon us when the moving trucks start to out-populate the professors. It’s always nerve-wracking and a little scary moving to a new place, but fear not because we are here to help! We’ve compiled nine things that we thought would be handy for newcomers to know before moving to Baylor University and Waco, Texas.

If you hear someone yelling sic’em, then know you’re around Bears.

It’s a weird thing that we often yell that while sounding better than the hook’ems and gig’ems of the world, makes less sense. It usually is accompanied by a Bear Claw and originated from the football field, but has since become appropriate for just about anything Baylor. It’s meaning is essentially a mixture between admiration and excitement, and you’ll be saying it before you know it!

If you want a glimpse of our most famed alumni, then head to the Silo District.

To be honest, you’d have a better chance of seeing the Gaines’s picking up a pepperoni pie from Shorty’s than through the swarms at Magnolia. The Silo District still has a lot to offer, though. Stores like Magnolia and The Findery are bringing both tourists and fashionable home décor to the city. Also, Shorty’s is real good.


If you love history, then you came to the right place.

Waco is a place of immense history that is restored, refurbished, and treasured. In fact, both Magnolia and The Findery are housed in nearly one hundred-year-old buildings. A block away is the Dr Pepper Museum, which showcases the town’s most famous invention. If you’re not impressed there are many more museums, as well as historic houses, hall of fames, and a National Monument.

If you’ve never had a Dr Pepper float, then enjoy having very happy taste buds.

A place that loves its history also strives to keep its traditions. In the Student Union, Dr Pepper Hour, which occurs every Tuesday afternoon, has been happening since the fifties. The Dr Pepper (also, never use a dot after the Dr in Dr Pepper!) floats that are served there are a heavenly combination of vanilla ice cream and the carbonated good stuff. After you’re first taste you’ll already be asking for seconds.

If you are still hungry after your delicious float, then don’t worry.

I thought I’d play a fun game where I visit a different restaurant every time I go out to eat. It’s been a year and I’m still nowhere close to the bottom of the list, which, like my appetite, is ever-expanding. There is everything here! Southern, Thai, BBQ, Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, Czech (kolaches!!) and American to name a few. The real struggle won’t be finding a tasty meal; it’ll be deciding what really great restaurant to go to for dinner tonight.

If you need to take a walk to digest, then head to Cameron Park.

Driving, walking, biking, running, riding, hiking through Cameron Park transports you to another world. The trees are lusciously green and overgrown providing shade from the beating sun. Lovers Leap provides an excellent view of the surroundings from its elevated position on top of one of the only large hills in the area. The Riverwalk catches the breeze from the Brazos River to make for a perfect destination year-round.


If you see a tortilla floating in the Brazos, then head to the Suspension Bridge.

If there’s still a small glimmer of light left from the sunset on your way home, then you just may see something in the corner of your eye floating in the water that looks like a lily pad. Then, you see twenty more. Don’t be confused, it’s just a tortilla from another one of Waco’s strangest traditions. People throw them off of the Suspension Bridge hoping to land them on one of the old train track pillars a few yards out into the water. Why? Because it’s oddly enjoyable and you are bound to eventually agree!

If you like to stay out after the sun goes down, then walk two blocks south to Downtown.

Waco is a small town that has a lot of big city amenities. On the first Friday of every month, businesses Downtown stay open for longer hours to provide an opportunity for strolling on Austin and Franklin Avenues. There is a movie theater with excellent food, concert venues, restaurants, coffee shops, and more popping-up seemingly every other day. Once here, you won’t be thinking that there’s nothing to do for too long.

If you ever feel lost in Waco, then know you’re around family.

The best thing to know about Waco, though, is how friendly and welcoming the people are to life-long residents and newcomers, alike. Despite all of the city’s hard times, it’s still truly the epitome of Southern comfort and, quite frankly, you’ll never want to leave.


So, welcome, sic’em, and don’t throw away that last tortilla!

By Matthew Doyen

Graduate Student Orientation

Perhaps the first time that you will meet your fellow cohort and step onto Baylor’s campus is the morning of Graduate Student Orientation. I remember making the walk across campus on the morning of my orientation one year ago. Admittedly, wearing my best pair of jeans and trying not to sweat through them was a challenge not only because I was so nervous, but also because of the humidity from a mid-August day in Texas. However, upon arrival, I quickly realized that everyone else was glistening, as well, and that everything was going to be fine. I had my first conversations, along with some awkwardly quiet moments, with people who would later become some of my best friends. Orientation acts as the unofficial starting point of your time in graduate school, which is an exciting time that will undoubtedly lead to many great moments, memories, and friendships. Luckily, the graduate school’s staff and current students help create a welcoming atmosphere that eases those uninvited jitterbugs and butterflies.

The program will begin with a Chick-fil-a breakfast at the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center, continue into addresses and breakout sessions, and conclude with an impressive hors d’oeuvres-styled lunch at the Moody Library and refreshing Dr Pepper floats in the Incubator. The entire schedule for the day has been released and you can check it out below:


Enjoy this iGrad comedic sneak peek that was provided by the university’s Theatre Arts Department and we will see you on the 17th!

By Matthew Doyen

The Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award

Behind every great student is a great teacher. Such is the reason why Baylor has been implementing a policy that all Teachers of Record must receive training appropriate to their role in the university. Sometimes, however, that teacher just happens to also be a student, a graduate student. Aware of that fact, the Graduate School, in partnership with the office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, offers training sessions each semesters that any graduate student can attend.


Every semester, the Graduate School and Baylor recognizes the very best of these educators, who were able to balance their own work and responsibilities as students while demonstrating excellence as classroom instructors, with the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award. Dean Lyon has finally pulled back the curtain and revealed the Fall 2015 semester’s honorees. They are:

Nathan Cartagena (Department of Philosophy)

Grace Aquino (Department of Environmental Science)

Olivia Carroll (Department of Political Science)

These three individuals were selected by a committee of graduate faculty and graduate students based on five documents: recommendations from their supervising faculty, student evaluations and letters from students in their classes, their teaching philosophy statements, and their records of participation in professional teaching development. They will be given the opportunity to attend teaching conferences, as well as a plaque commemorating their achievement. Join the Graduate School and Baylor in congratulating these special individuals!

You can find a list of past winners here and the benefits for graduate school Teachers of Record here.

By Matthew Doyen

Moving Up!

For the last thirty years the U.S. News has been ranking its best graduate schools and programs in the nation. This year’s rankings have been released and, not surprisingly, Baylor’s programs have continued to rise! The graduate school departments and programs that received the highest rankings and largest advances were in disciplines such as law, business, nursing and health, education, and engineering. Around two thousand programs were surveyed and the full results can be found at www.usnews.com.


Here is the BU rundown:

Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business: moved into its new Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation and up one spot to 57th (out of 379) this past year, with the recent online MBA program sitting at 69th in the country.

Baylor Louise Herrington School of Nursing: located in Dallas, the Master of Science degree improved fourteen spots to 58th and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program soared 27 places higher to 45th (out of 259), with the Nursing-Midwifery program debuting in the top ten as 10th nationally.

Baylor’s School of Education: progressed five places to 78th (out of 255) in the country.

Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science: unveiled at 118th (out of 194), with Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering sitting at 109th and 124th respectively.

Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work: the downtown location advanced seven slots to 53rd nationally.

Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences: Speech-Language Pathology program climbed ten spots to 69th in the country.

Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences: Clinical Psychology programs jumped seventeen spots to 62nd nationwide.

U.S. Army-Baylor: Health Care Management program ranked 7th and Doctor of Physical Therapy degree placed 8th respectively.

For information about Baylor’s rankings visit the story by Media Communications, from where this material was gathered.

By Matthew Doyen


Midday Crisis: The Best Dozen Places to Grab Lunch on your Campus Visit


If you’re like me and Kev, then first lunch and second lunch are the most important meals of the day. When I came to visit Waco over the summer, I didn’t know where any of the good lunch spots were (or even if there were any), so I just settled for ultra feast at the familiar Olive Garden. While their bread sticks were delicious and consumed by the handful, I now know that there are so many other tasty choices available for my greasy little fingers. So, as procrastination is hitting a all-time high over Spring Break, we have compiled the best dozen places to grab a bite to eat while visiting Baylor.

1. Jasper’s Bar-B-Que (105 Clifton Street)


Don’t let the outside fool you! This little gem is the oldest barbecue joint in the city and the food inside is a testament to their longevity. If you’re lucky enough to be around on a Wednesday, their $10.99 AYCE ribs are not to be missed. The Waco Tornado is also a classic that is sure to leave any barbecue lover pleased and stuffed. Hours – Mon-Sat: 10am-2 pm

2. Xcristo’s Cafe (202 South University Parks Drive)


The only food truck to make the list is also arguably the best (and most confusing to pronounce) in all of McLennan County. Their lamb and beef gyros are seriously “opalicious.” Xcristo’s lunch special includes your choice of gyro, a healthy dose of french fries, and a drink for a tidy $10. Hours – Tues-Sat: 11am-7pm

3. Twisted Root Burger Company (801 South 2nd Street)

Being one of the newest eateries to branch to the city from the northern metropolis known as Dallas, it is hard to miss this colorful building from I-35. And, quite frankly, you shouldn’t because it has perhaps the strangest menu in Waco. Depending on the season, you could order a burger made of camel, beaver, gator, or kangaroo (sorry, Pooh Bear). Hours – Everyday: 11am-10pm

4. Poppa Rollo’s Pizza (703 North Valley Mills Drive)


Opened by a Bear alum in 1969, Poppa Rollo’s offers some of the best pizza and calzones in the area. Although a little bit further away from campus than some would like, this pizzeria is sure to satisfy even the toughest critics. Hours – Everyday: 11am-11pm

5. Torchy’s Tacos (801 South 5th Street)


Another newcomer to Waco (from Austin) that has already become a hit. Even in a city littered with great taco trucks and restaurants, Torchy’s “damn good” tacos and green chili queso always seem to be at the top of everyone’s list. Also, try looking up their secret menu before ordering! Hours – Everyday: 8am-10pm

6. Schmaltz’s Sandwich Shoppe (105 South 5th Street)


Schmaltz’s is truly “Waco born and bread.” Their artisan bread is handmade everyday and is the staple to this downtown lunch spot. You cannot go wrong with a large Schmaltz, which contains multiple kinds of cheeses and meats, but has a smaller price tag at $8. Hours – Mon-Fri: 10-3

7. Dubl-R Old Fashioned Hamburgers (1810 Herring Avenue)


If you don’t like red meat and sweaty cooks, then Dubl-R may not be for you. But if you like great burgers at an affordable price, then welcome home!  The drive out there will take you through some of Waco’s less traveled neighborhoods, but their Triple-Triple (triple patty, triple cheese) will quickly have you running back for more. Hours Mon-Fri: 10-6, Sat: 10-2

8. Vitek’s BBQ (1600 Speight Avenue)


Vitek’s, home of the world-famous GutPak. Having opened more than one hundred years ago, this Baylor favorite has long since mastered all of their fixings. In fact, just a few years ago, they were named the country’s number one college eatery. Yes, it’s that good! Hours – Mon: 10:30am-3pm, Tues-Thurs: 10:30am-6pm, Fri-Sat: 10:30am-9pm

9. Clay Pot (920 South Jack Kultgen Expressway)


It’s hard to imagine that Waco’s only Vietnamese restaurant is also one of Baylor’s favorite places for lunch, but it’s no joke! Warning: you may find yourself addicted to Clay Pot’s traditional cuisine (and seating) after just one meal. It’s still oh so worth it. Hours – Tues-Sun: 11am-10pm

10. Shorty’s Pizza Shack (1712 South 12th Street)


Shorty’s Pizza Shack is just a few blocks off of campus and therefore has some of the most affordable lunch specials in the area for us poor college students. In addition, they have a different special everyday, as well as a rotating slice board. Make sure to try a pizza pillow and take a sticker on your way out! Hours – Everyday: 11am-11pm

11. Baris’s (904 North Valley Mills Drive)


Baris’s is really the only authentic Italian restaurant worth talking about in Waco. If I only knew of its great lunch specials and healthy portions before I went to the Olive Garden! You know you’re going to get an excellent meal every time because Mama Baris doesn’t except anything less for her loving patrons. Hours – Tues-Sun: 11am-10pm

12. Lulu Jane’s (406 West Elm Street)

Lula Jane's WTX

The only restaurant to make both our top breakfast and lunch lists is West Waco’s Lulu Jane’s. A daily special each day that is made from scratch, in-house, with the best ingredients is one of the many things that makes this place so appealing. Hours – Mon: 9am-3pm, Tues-Sat: 8am-3pm

So, schedule a tour and come see us soon! If only for the food…

By Matthew Doyen

Becoming more Academically Competitive with the Presidential Scholar Program

When Dr. Larry Lyon, Dean of the Graduate School, arrived at Baylor in 1998, he immediately recognized that the school had to become more competitive. He knew that to achieve that goal, he must first create additional incentives that attracted larger numbers of highly-qualified doctoral candidates to Waco. A few years later, the Presidential Scholar program was underway. It has increased from the two awardees of the original class to double digits recipients in the last few years. Despite this increase, becoming a presidential scholar has remained extremely competitive. Program directors of potential candidates contact the graduate school about their students who they believe would benefit from being a member of the distinguished program. Dean Lyon then reviews the applications and chooses the best of these applicants to receive the designation. While making his decision, Dean Lyon looks for high GPAs and GRE scores, research experience and publications, and professional resumes, but, most importantly, excellent letters of recommendation.

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The presidential scholarship, one of the main benefits of the program, is the highest stipend awarded to doctoral students at Baylor. Its purpose is to help make attending graduate school and moving to Waco financially viable for these students and their families. Chris Tweedt, a recent doctoral graduate (and now instructor) in the Philosophy Department and former presidential scholar, spoke about how this extra stipend made his experience at Baylor possible. The father of four wrote, “I wouldn’t have been able to survive as a grad student and support my family without the help of the presidential scholarship.” Ryan West, who is in the last year of his post-doctoral studies and helping to support a family of five, added that “it would have been extremely difficult to make ends meet during graduate school without the stipend and health insurance coverage provided by the program.”

However, the stipend is not the only advantage of the program. It also opens the doors to boundless opportunities. John Duncan, a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Religion, attested to his time in the program by mentioning that he and his fellow presidential scholars “have increased opportunities to meet, converse, and network with senior officials at Baylor, including President Starr, Lyon, and the Associate and assistant Deans in the Graduate School.” A first year candidate in Philosophy, Christopher Tomaszewski, can already agree. He stated that “by being able to list the Presidential Scholarship on my CV, I’ve gained some opportunities with the help of the prestige of the scholarship in terms of gaining admission to research seminars and summer programs.”


The Presidential Scholar program has succeeded in making Baylor’s Graduate School more competitive. With many of the recipients graduating and moving on to faculty positions at other universities and with the number of awardees continuing to rise, it seems that Presidential Scholars will continue to make the university stronger for years to come.

By Matthew Doyen

Gradvice: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Gradvice is a series that discusses the difficult decisions that graduate school applicants must make. Hopefully, our thoughts and experiences will help guide you to the right course!

Human beings like to stay with what they know. I only get the tuna sandwich at Subway. My dad only buys Honda vehicles. My sister only watches romantic comedies. We are confident in these decisions because we know that they will be reliable and enjoyable. The same can be said about graduate school. Once you finally decide on a graduate program to pursue, it’s only natural that the first school you research is the one where you received your bachelor’s degree. After all, you have turned that once foreign place into a cozy home for the last four years. As the search continues, however, you may find that a program located halfway across the country seems like it is the perfect fit. But do you really want to leave everything that you have become familiar with at your undergraduate school? Or do you want to take a chance and experience a totally new place and culture?


My friend, Sarah, earned her bachelor’s degree at Baylor and decided to stay in Waco to pursue her master’s. As we were walking past Fountain Mall, I asked Sarah to share what she thought the advantages and disadvantages of receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the same university were. Personally, as a graduate student who moved to a completely new state to continue my education, I found that her experience was completely opposite to my own and that most of our differences center around one thing: relationships.

Sarah stressed the importance of continuing the relationships that she had started during her four years as an undergrad. During that time, we all had our favorite professors who found us abusing their office hours just to chat about life and to sink into their comfy leather chairs. Since deciding to stay at Baylor, Sarah still has the ability to do that every couple of weeks. She also continues to volunteer at the same places and to further develop current relationships with the same directors that may end up offering her a job in the future because of their strong past. Finally, she can still enjoy hanging out with the friends that she has made who have not yet graduated or who have decided to stay in Waco for grad school.

I can understand all of what she said and try to overcome the fact that I’m at a different school and don’t have those advantages as best as I can. For instance, I still remain in contact with my old professors through the occasional email. I still volunteer, but at new places and with new faces, which helps broaden my list of professional connections. I still spend many nights talking to my old friends and planning when they are going to come to central Texas, while leaving time to enjoy the new friendships that I have made at Baylor.  Everyone seems genuinely happy that I made the choice to move on to a different school, as it can give the impression of moving onward and upward rather than staying stagnant.

The decision to stay at the same school for both undergrad and grad school is perfectly understandable and works out fine for a good amount of students, including Sarah. She enjoys the safety net of her old friends while strengthening the relations that she has already started with professors and professionals in her field. While going to a different school does make those relationships harder to continue, it also shows which of them are most important to me and provides an opportunity to increase my list of contacts. These types of decisions are difficult to make when deciding where to go for graduate school. But, if you take the time now to figure them out, then you know your future graduate school won’t clash with what you were expected!

By Matthew Doyen

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