So if you’re a senior like myself and are considering going to graduate school to continue your education in whatever field you’d like, you probably haven’t had a whole lot of direction.  One of my professors just came to one of my classes on Monday to talk about it and didn’t even answer all the questions I still have brewing in the back of my mind.  So let’s break it down:

  1. MAKE A LIST: Normally, I’m not a list person, I’m not going to lie.  But since it’s gotten down to crunch time to getting applications and transcripts and letters of recommendations and test scores together, I cannot stress this enough. MAKE A LIST. Thinking about applying to a few different schools? MAKE A LIST.. Order them by top choice to considering but unsure. Thinking about all the things you want to look at when looking into schools? Programs, location, cost, etc. MAKE A LIST. School’s websites normally have lists of things you need to send and to apply to school, but are you going to keep that page as your desktop background? Probably not. MAKE A LIST. Have a bunch of schools you transferred from and need to send transcripts to all the places you’re applying? MAKE.A.LIST. Seriously this will help you out tremendously and keep things kinda organized, okay? Trust me.
  2.  WRITE A PERSONAL STATEMENT/LETTER OF INTENT/ETC: I still honestly don’t know what these consist of but among the 4 or 5 schools I”m looking at, they require these to apply.  Check out the schools application processes and see what they’re looking for in these letters and essays.  Some schools are picky about it and some just want the general information. Who you are, why you want to do what you want to, and why you are looking at the specific program at the specific school. The professor who came to talk to us on monday in my class, whose in charge one of the graduate program admissions, said to stay away from cliche words like PASSIONATE, LOVE, WONDERFUL, EXCITING, ETC. Schools already know that you’re passionate about it or love it ok you’re applying to the program. This doesn’t mean that you can’t put your story about your grandma being in the hospital for a long time or what got you into art, etc, just don’t make it a typically store. What makes you stand out.  The OWL at purdue has some great advice for writing personal statements and there’s also great information for letters of intents here as well as tons of other sources you can find from searching it on the web.
  3.  WRITE A RESUME: If you’re applying for a grad program, some schools and even some of the professors you ask for letters of recomendation will ask for a resume.  The typical resume is about 1-2 pages. This website has alot of great information on how to write one.  The kinkel center can also take a look at your resume and tweak it to be perfect.  I don’t suggest following a microsoft word template of a resume because they’re sometimes hard to work it.
  4.  ASK FOR LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Most often schools require you to send them 3 or 4 letters of recommendation from an advisor or professor.  Most schools prefer that you ask professors in your program because they often know what kind of things schools are looking for to hear compared to a boss at a job or your favorite person in the admissions office.  When you go to ask, bring a resume to give them an idea of what kind of things you do outside of school as well as a stamped and labeled envelope for them to just put the letter in and send off. Easy as that!! Sometimes it’s nice to write them a thank you letter too later on for writing a recommendation.
  5.  GET STARTED EARLY: Don’t wait until last minute to apply.  Grad school applications can take several months to process so it’s better if you get started early on in the fall semester.  Take the GRE (which is usually required for most schools) in the summer before your senior year or August or September before things get busy.  Most applications require you to send everything in by December or January and at earliest, you can hear from them by April or March.  I’m a procrastinator like nobody’s business, but getting this whole process started in September was the best decision I ever made.  It’s early October right now and I’m almost done with everything! It’s such a relief.
  6. TAKE THE GRE: What is this even? It’s like the ACT of grad school. A pain in the butt 4 and a half hour standardized test that costs an insane amount of money. ($195). But don’t let that scare you.  Some schools don’t require it for applications, but most do.  Do yourself a favor and take a class to prepare for it or rent a GRE prep book.  They’re inexpensive and will help you out when it comes down to test day.  Sign up for the test date at least a month from when you start preparing.  I know this seems like too much time to prepare, but trust me, you won’t regret it. There’s never enough time to prepare for this.  Have your schools in mind for after you take it. It asks you at the end what schools you want to send your scores to and it’s free to send it right then and there after you take it.  It tells you that you can send your scores later for a fee, but I don’t recommend it.  It’s $27 per school. Ridiculous, I know. It’s not like going to school is taking enough of our money already…Anyway, the test center will provide the materials you need as well as a locker to put your things.  You’ll have a ten minute break to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or eat some snacks you brought. Good luck!!

I could go on with various tips about applying, but I think these cover the majority.  Applying is a scary and expensive process, but if you have everything organized and prepared, it’s nearly as not stressful as it seems to be.



My favorite place to study

by Karen on October 8, 2015

in Academics

My favorite place to study is in my home office. I enjoy my office because it is quiet, relaxing and I can close myself off from the family to study uninterrupted. Everything that I may possibly need to study without leaving the room is in my office.  I have a refrigerator stocked with water, soda and snacks. I have 2 printers and plenty of paper (1 inkjet, 1 laser). I also have a lounger for relaxing while I read. I keep my office well supplied because I spend a lot of time there and it is my favorite place to study.


Why did you choose Fontbonne University?  This can honestly be a hard question to answer at times for myself.  At first when looking at colleges I wanted to attend at university that had my interest of major at the time which was special education.  Though as I looked at schools there were more reasons as to why I did not want to attend anywhere else compared to Fontbonne University.  My top reason for choosing a school was that there had to be a Catholic atmosphere where I could participate in my faith.  So I looked at St. Louis University, Benedictine College, Franciscan University, University of Central Missouri, Truman University and finally Avila University in Kansas City in addition to Fontbonne University.  As time went on when I was looking at these schools I also went with my gut feeling as to how I really could envision myself living on campus at this institutions and I really couldn’t except for one which was Avila University.  Fun Fact: Avila University is actually one of the sister schools to Fontbonne University.  So when I narrowed down my choices to Avila and Fontbonne, I was deciding between two similar schools in terms of their foundation.

Though when it came closer to having to pick which university, I thought of factors such as: being close to home so I could drive back home within a few hours if something were to happen, campus life with a Catholic identity, my major, and familiarity with the university.  Now what I mean with wanting to be familiar is that either someone in my family had to have attended the school or else a close friend because then I could relate and have someone to turn to in times of certain need.  Well for Fontbonne my sister actually already graduated from there in 2009, so that was set.  But also Fontbonne is right by my house, within the same city, making it easier to commute to and from school.  Plus the atmosphere cannot be compared to a large university at all.  I honestly love that I can talk to my teachers about any subject in my life – such as a spontaneous family event that may occur in which I feel the need to drop all of my stuff and forget about homework for a few days where I get behind on schoolwork.  Now this did happen to a degree this year, but now I have caught up on my homework and am ahead in some subjects.  Though having such honest relationships with my professors helped me stay at ease and less stressed because by letting them know what was going on, in turn then, they were more understanding with any late assignment or test that I may have had.  Relationships are very valuable in college and can go a long way, and I know that there are several here on Fontbonne University’s campus.  Our teachers care about our success.



My Study Spot

by Max on October 7, 2015

in Academics

In college there are a lot of distractions, be it electronics, or even other people. We all need a location where we can get away. So it is important to find your one location where you can really lock your mind in and focus on what needs to be accomplished. For me, it’s on the second floor of the library on either the leather sofa or loveseat. You will often find people napping or typing away on the furniture, so if you are lucky enough to see an open seat, make sure you snag it. Aside from the comfort provided by the leather furniture, you are in the library which makes it pretty easy to focus. Most of the time it is silent on the second floor, unlike the constant sound of the printers on the main floor. For me to really focus, I need silence and no distractions. This spot accommodates my needs perfectly. But the best part is the view. You get to look out the giant window and admire the beauty of the campus as well as view everybody else going about their business walking to and from the library. In the evening sunshine it truly is a magical spot to be and it’s where I can be found relaxing, getting homework done, and even writing this blog post. IMG_1518


Favorite Way to Study

by Katie October 7, 2015

It can be hard to study when all you want to do is go outside in the beautiful weather! While I do my best to find time for the things I love, when it comes to studying I find ways to relax and zen out (as best as I can) in the process of studying. […]

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“Take Chances, Make Mistakes, Get Messy!”

by Sarah October 7, 2015

Oh my gosh, Junior Year – is this real life?  I cannot believe that I am more than halfway through college.  I can still remember freshman year for the most part but I will say that of course I was not a fan of it – yet who is a fan of their freshman year […]

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Study Time!

by Patricia October 6, 2015

My favorite place to study is anywhere at Fontbonne. I don’t like to study anywhere else especially at home. When it’s a sunny day I like to study outside. I don’t like to study at home because there are too many distractions. I prefer to relax at home and there are often lots of things […]

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A new life!

by Humaira October 6, 2015

Something about myself: I’ve done my undergraduation in India, from JawaharLal Nehru Technological University in 2012. After my undergraduation, I’ve worked for Google Maps in India for 3 years. Then I took the decision to pursue Masters in Computer Sciences, to move a step ahead in my career. The process of applying to the universities […]

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Was I Wrong?

by DeMarcus October 6, 2015

Lately I think my friends think that I’ve been ignoring them, which isn’t the case. I have just been trying to adjust to my new major and have a mind of my own. Since August 9th, we have spent almost every waking moment together. By any means this isn’t a bad thing, I was just starting […]

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A Thank You to My Former Teachers

by Claire October 6, 2015

Thank You to the My Former Teachers Thank you. I want to say thank you to every teacher who has taught me. You have influenced my life starting when I was four years old. You assisted with the transition from one grade school to the next and middle school to high school and you put in […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.