When ever I hear students say: “Grad school is just like undergrad school, except with a little more advanced courses, and a paper to submit.”
Then, I would start thinking to myself: “Why on earth someone would waste their time in a grad school if they can get a decent job after a bachelor degree?”
One fine day, while sitting on my favorite chair and thinking to myself, I got my answer. You don’t “waste time wracking your nerves in grad school,” you USE that time to qualify for and expand your realm of knowledge for the specific field you have chosen. THAT is why you go to grad school – and to survive and thrive, you need to have that mindset throughout your program.
So here’s a list of my ways to “give-it-your-best” in grad school and make the most out of this time in your life:
1. Focus, focus, focus: By the time you are in grad school, you already have selected your line of profession (I hope so). Make sure that you are focused on your domain and repeatedly remind yourself that, since it was the motive behind your grad school program in the first place.
Don’t think of your degree as “just another qualification I’ll need for a promotion”. Think of it as a tool that will help you to better understand what you want to do (your profession) and how to do it (applications in the practical field). So, stay focused!
2. Embrace efficiency and effectiveness: Graduate school demands a whole new level of responsibility. You have to manage your rent, your house/room, your job, your appointments/research, your home life,and your studies,keeping track of all of this at the same time can be extremely challenging and stressful.
A great professor once said that we are not just measuring ourpotential to learn when we are in school, we measure are ability to handle stress and prepare us for it when we are out there in the real world. Right you are Prof.! How to be efficient while still being effective is definitely something you’ll need to learn in these years and that may be a key to success in grad school.
3. Surround yourself with competition: Remember, you’re not in high school or undergrad school anymore. You’re in a simulated environment of your own field of profession. To learn and succeed, you need to surround yourself with immense competition so that you push your limits in attaining and accomplishing your goals, just like any organization does. By this, I mean you need to surround yourself with high achieving friends and compete with them. I learned to do this myself in college, and believe me, it helped a lot. Surround yourself with underachievers, you’ll become an underachiever. Surround yourself with high achievers, you become a high achiever.
4. Treat your school work like a Job: If you have worked before, you know what it’s like to manage your time with a job. Think of earning your graduate degree as your job. Trot off to campus early morning and come back a little late with all your homework, assignments, and projects are completed. Stay at the library if you have to. That way, you’ll come home without much work to do and the evening off.
5. Love Your Professors: I don’t mean be a suck-up, which everyone hates. I mean you need to think of your teachers as your friends too. Go up to them if you need extra help, share your academic problems, or ask them about your field of profession (they might know a lot). Just learn as much as you can from them and their experiences in real life. You’d be surprised how willing they are to help their students perform their best, in school as well as outside school.
About the Author: Anais John is a teacher by profession specialising in the field of stats and school. Currently working at Essay Mall, where she offers assistance to those who ask, "who can do my essay?" She’s also a big fan of JK Rowling and particularly her work.