Who would know how fast this year would go. I feel like September was yesterday. I walked into PennGSE knowing one thing: for this brick of money that I put up, I was going to get my money back....
I think I did pretty well. First and foremost, I benefited greatly from focusing on my work rather than focusing on the grades [except for yesterday, but that's a different story...] Focusing on my work allowed me to flesh out thoughts and explore ideas rather than try to pin down what professors wanted or was what I submitted effective. It became a self driven process.
As I look forward into next year, I would ask all new GSE students to continue to reflect on your ideas and explore them in the way that makes you happy and fulfilled with all the urgency of this expensive graduate school experience affords you.
In the most famous words of the Isley Brothers, ITS YOUR THING, DO WHAT YOU WANNA DO.