Graduate School Survival Guide – Top 10 Tips to Survival
Announcer: “And tonight on Grad Nite TV it’s time for the Top 10 Ten List. Tonight’s Top 10 is ‘How do I Survive Graduate School?’”
And the top 10 ways that you can survive graduate school are:
#10. Stay focused. The road is long, but by staying focused on your goal of successfully completing your program, you can make it a smooth ride instead of a bumpy one.
#9. Keep up with assigned readings, project tasks, and research. It is much easier to break your tasks, assignments, readings and research into smaller segments. This alleviates you from having to cram everything into one night or one day.
#8. If you don’t know the answer to something, then ask. There is nothing wrong with not knowing the answer to everything. If you do not know or understand something, then ask a classmate, a professor or someone else who will know the answer. Just to put your mind a little more at ease for asking questions in class, the answer to your question will not only help you, but it will also help your classmates as well. Most likely, someone in your class has the same question, but was too afraid to ask it.
#7. Make a plan and stick to it. Create a written plan that details out your goals, tasks, and deadlines. Also write a plan on the tasks that you must complete to achieve them. You may have different plans like daily, weekly, monthly and semester long plans. Just make sure that your daily plans help you achieve your weekly plans, and that your weekly plans help you achieve your monthly plans, and so on.
#6. Introduce yourself to new people. The people you meet and interact with may prove to be important contacts to you at some point during or after graduate school. By increasing the amount of people that you know you are increasing your chances of finding new and interesting opportunities.
#5. Don’t cheat! Sometimes the easy way out is not the most beneficial thing for you in the long run. With well thought out plans and task lists there won’t be a need for you to cheat because you will be organized and on task.
#4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs a little help sometime. Ask you professors if you don’t understand something or if you need clarification on something. That is what they are there for!
#3. Get a study buddy. By studying with a friend or classmate you can compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They may have something in their notes that you don’t have and vice versa. Plus, it makes it easier to study when you have a partner to push you along and they have you to push them along.
#2. Manage your stress. There is no doubt that graduate school is stressful. It is important that you manage your stress. Eating healthy and getting enough rest, along with being focused and organized, will help to keep your stress level to a minimum.
And the #1 way to survive grad school is…
Learn work, school, and life balance. You need to learn to balance your schedule so that you have time for all aspects of your life including school, work and home. It is important that you take time to participate in leisure and relaxation activities that you enjoy. This will help you to live a more balanced life, preventing you from burning out from school overload!
In all seriousness, grad school is a big challenge. It is important that you follow these 10 survival tips to make your time there as productive and pleasurable as possible.