Upon starting graduate school I was a nervous wreck. I barely made it in undergrad, and barely made it into graduate school yet here I am. I was starting a new job, returning to school, life as I knew it was about to change.
In undergrad, I worked full time and went to school full time along with trying to maintain a social life. I wasn’t nervous about managing everything, but more so nervous about being at a new university, not knowing anybody, and not knowing what to truly expect from this new graduate program.
It turns out I was nervous for no reason and graduate school is proving to be much easier for me than undergrad. This past summer I managed to take not one, not two, but three summer classes while also having a busy work schedule, and LITERALLY going out every weekend…. I know call me crazy, but I still came out on top.
Below are 5 tips for you to make this your best semester yet.
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Prioritize your time
Grad school is about managing your time in an effective way. At the start of the semester read over your syllabus and look at due dates. Purchase a planner that works for your lifestyle. Write in due dates, important dates, meetings, even scheduling certain times of the day for you to complete assignments. Avoid procrastination, the best way you can.
Use sticky notes to write dates and events in the planner, and the week before write them in permanently. That way if something changes you don’t have scribbles and changes all over your planner. If you’re someone with a lot of things going on use highlighters to represent the different activities or projects you have going on.
The weekend before classes start take the time out for a little self-care. This will put you in a positive place and allow you to be the best person you can be. Make sure to incorporate self-care throughout the semester especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Related Post: Self-Care Sunday
Make sure your life is organized and in order. This can be cleaning your home or organizing all your school supplies and materials. If you start the semester off in clutter or with things all over the place in can show later when you feel overwhelmed and can’t find anything.
Within the first week of classes find out the different resources your school has to offer. Check out the library and everything it has to offer. Look into different labs such as the writing or math lab. Even if you’re only taking online classes your university has different resources available to distant learners.
Don’t come into grad school with the mentality “Me, Myself, and I”. Be social amongst your peers and classmates. Grad school is a collective effort and even though everyone is an adult, group work will still may be a requirement. (You never know when you might need a classmate.) Most likely you all are dealing with the same issues and stresses. Work, school, and life who can better relate other than your classmates. Who knows friendships might even be formed.
Are you currently balancing work, school, and a personal life? How are you handling everything?