By Laura Morrison, July 2014
Receiving an acceptance letter into the graduate program of your choice can be one of the happiest days for a prospective student. But the application process is just the first step in the journey to receiving a graduate degree. Pursuing graduate studies may be a rewarding and important process, but it can also be challenging for those who aren't prepared for what's to come. Planning ahead and knowing what challenges you're likely to face could help to boost your chances of potential success in your studies.
You are now a manager
The journey through graduate school is as much a challenge to your resources as it is to your knowledge. Students will face busy schedules and extensive workloads, and some may also be balancing all of this with a full- or part-time job. This means that as a graduate student you have also taken on a new role - that of a project manager. Knowing how to balance your reading with your job and your extracurricular activities is essential to graduate school survival.
All of this will be easier if you have a handle on a few key study hacks. According to PsychCentral, planning your studying around how, when and where you'll be tackling your schoolwork is important - if you know you can't work from home, for example, make sure you schedule meetings with study groups as a regular part of your routine. Similarly, recognize that the study aims will be different in graduate school than they were when you were pursuing your undergraduate degree. If you find yourself spending too much time trying to memorize texts line-by-line, restructure your reading so that you focus more on headings and chapter titles to gauge where your attention is best spent.
Saving money is good, making money is better
Financial strain is a common enemy of graduate students everywhere, and it goes without saying that budgeting will become your new religion as you enter your studies. If your budget needs a bit of a kick start, consider part-time work. If you could pursue an on-campus job or work-study program, which may be available for qualified students, specifically one in your program or field of study as discussed at Scholarships.com, not only could this be a potential opportunity to augment your income, but you may also meet and form connections and working relationships with professionals in your field, providing you with valuable work experience while you're in school and possibly even professional connections down the road.
About the Author: Laura Morrison is the Web Content Manager for GradSchools.com. She earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.