I remember being quite frustrated to find that undergraduate school is not like what I knew about graduate school. It left me rather disillusioned with the structure of academia for awhile, and at Acton Institute 2013 my friend and roommate Amanda Achtman and I discussed whether or not graduate school was even necessary for a career as a scholar. My idealistic aspirations of thought-provoking script writing and book writing seemed like a more exhilarating alternative.

James Madison Summer Institute 2017 Closing Banquet

Four years later, of course, both Amanda and I are in graduate school (on two different continents, I might add), and I haven’t given up on my film and book ventures. I find these to tasks to be complementary to one another, rather than diversions.

I am definitely enjoying graduate school more than I enjoyed undergraduate school, even though my undergrad years at Troy and JSU were filled with fascinating subjects and wise professors. It’s ashame you have to plod through four years to get to the “good part,” as I call it. But I’ll admit that a lot of the experience is related to attitude. If you’re an


undergrad student, make the most of it by choosing to be a scholar now and refusing to dwell on complaints

about the mediocre, rat race aspects of the collegiate process.

Here is ISI’s infographic on “How to Transition from College to Grad School.”

Header image: My favorite path to the dining tent at Georgetown University during the James Madison Summer Institute.