Completing My First Year of Grad School and Life Update, by Caitlin

By August 17, 2023 NVLD Bloggers

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I have written on my blog. I have had a lot happen in the last few months or so.

First off, I wanted to talk about how I made it through my first year of graduate school. It was a rough road but I did it! I faced many challenges including some with my mental health and personal issues that occurred during this time. This made grad school very hard.

During my first semester, I wanted to drop out. My classes were hard, I had no clue what I was doing, and I was working three jobs! I did have a cool opportunity to go to New York City during this time though with my mom. We went to the NVLD Project Annual Fundraiser Gala. This was a new city for both me and my mom. We got some much needed mother-daughter bonding time. We saw a lot, from an upstate river cruise on the Hudson River to Times Square and Aladdin on Broadway! We also saw the Statue of Liberty of course and the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. NYC is an amazing place! I would definitely go back and I recommend it if you have not been already! The photo below is my mom and I in Times Square!

In January, right before second semester, I got let go from one of those jobs for unknown reasons, but I think it was due to my medical issues. I will never know and it is not worth wondering about. I also stepped down from my position in my university’s student government, due to not having enough classes, which was actually good for me because not having to work all the time allowed me to focus on myself.

Fast forward to this semester, I had an easier time in my classes and I ended up staying in school. Note that the first semester for graduate school is the hardest and everyone has imposter syndrome or does not know what they are doing. I was able to achieve all this due to having great friends who held me accountable for studying and getting my work done. I also finally listened to people in my support system and maintained a structured schedule. I learned the hard way that those things are what I need to succeed.

Aside from school this semester, I was also making strides socially. I was in my first relationship for two months. It was going well, but I realized that I still had some work to do for myself and I ended it. He was a really good guy, but I just felt I was not ready for a relationship. I learned a lot from this experience, like what I want in the future for myself!

Now to future endeavors! Next semester, I will be a teaching assistant for a professor in the sociology department at the University of Northern Colorado, where I completed my bachelor’s degree and am currently getting my master’s in sociology. I will also be starting my graduate internship with the Go on and Learn program as well as still mentoring students in this program as well. Lastly, I will take one class next semester and hopefully be able to graduate next spring!

These past months have been a whirlwind but I am glad about how things turned out and what my future holds. I also hope to write on this more as I want to continue to inspire others with nonverbal learning disability and just disabilities in general and for people to know that you can do anything you put your mind to!

Until next time,


I am an alum (and future graduate student) at the University of Northern Colorado! I got my bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a minor in sociology. I will be studying sociology full time during grad school. I am writing this blog to showcase my life as someone on the autism spectrum and who has nonverbal learning disability. Also, I am writing this as a college student and as someone who is new to exploring adulthood and what comes after college! I also want people to relate to my stories and feel like they have someone they can connect to!

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