On November 20th, Bank Street will be holding one of many Graduate School open houses. I attended one of these open houses at this time last year when I was considering applying to the school. It was very informative and definitely helped nudge me in the direction of applying.
I can remember feeling extremely nervous before the open house. Any major life change is scary, and exploring graduate school is no exception! As I approached the open house my stomach was filled with anxious and excited butterflies. I am happy to say that it turned out to be a lovely evening, but there are a couple of things I wish I had known going into the event. If you are considering attending an open house, here are some things to keep in mind:
– You will receive a lot of information. It can feel a bit like information overload, but try to remember you don’t have to know everything all at once! My mind was pulling me in a hundred directions but I had to remind myself to keep calm and take a deep breath. There is a wealth of resources at Bank Street to help you through this, and you don’t have to master it all during the event. I put the paperwork away and focused on taking it in the evening, and you should too!
– During the evening, you will split into small groups based on program. At that time, I was still considering many different programs at Bank Street. I was interested in early childhood but wasn’t sure if I should focus on the infancy program or early childhood education. I was also curious to learn more about the child life program. When it came time for us to move into groups, I made a split-second decision and joined the early childhood and childhood education group. I met two faculty members, who would later become my advisors, and an alumnus from the program. I learned about fieldwork and the difference between being a student-teacher or an assistant teacher in a classroom, and about the dual cross-age program that I am now in.
If you are one of those people looking at several programs that Bank Street offers, just remember that you don’t have to make a decision before attending an open house. It is helpful to have one program in mind for the small group portion of the evening, but that does not have to be the program you end up applying to. If you wanted to get more information about another program, you could always explore other groups that evening, attend another open house, or contact the director of the other program you are interested in. One thing you will learn about Bank Street very quickly is how supportive and genuinely helpful everyone is. Program directors are happy to answer any questions prospective students may have.
I strongly recommend attending one of our open houses if you are considering Bank Street. It is a great introduction to the school and a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the faculty and alumni. If you do attend, try not to get overwhelmed like I did, and remember that this is only the beginning! For me, it was the beginning of a thrilling new endeavor and if you decide to attend, I hope it proves to be a positive experience for you.