Monday, May 29th, 2017...7:50 pm

Meet your new Gradlife Ambassador!

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20170520_163108 Even though spring is coming to an end, and it seems like summer is just around the corner, the idea of new beginnings feels like the perfect backdrop to kicking off my time as your Gradlife Ambassador. I’m Kat – a second-year grad student at the Institute of Medical Science – and I am very excited to join the Gradlife team!

Graduate school is an intellectually stimulating and rewarding experience, but it can also be isolating, with courses, research, teaching, and grant applications all vying for your time (not to mention personal/family obligations). With so many spinning plates, finding the time to meet and connect with other students may seem impossible. That’s where I come in! As the Gradlife Ambassador, I’m here to help you connect to campus life and embrace being a grad student. For those of you who are new to U of T, join me as I explore the plethora of events, eats, and resources on campus and in the city. For those of you who are old hats at this, share your wisdom with me and with your fellow students!

Now, achieving the mythical ‘work-life balance’ in grad school is a tall order. If you’re not sure where to start, here are three tips to help you out:

Do what you love – It can be easy to get lost in the sea of clubs and activities on campus, so focus on doing one thing that you thoroughly enjoy – you’d be surprised how many other students share your passion. For me, this means getting involved with projects that center around communication (such as my departmental magazine, or writing for the Gradlife blog!). Check out the Ulife website for a complete list of all of the student groups and clubs on campus:

Talk to your peers – Although the graduate programs at U of T are incredibly varied, there are common themes to the graduate student experience (Hello, Imposter Syndrome). Whether it’s grabbing a coffee with someone from your lab, or setting up weekly writing sessions with students in your class, taking the time to share your experiences can be very rewarding. If you’re having trouble connecting with other students, our Grad Escapes are a great place to start! We have some great events planned for the summer, including a tour of the Art Gallery of Ontario & an improv class at Second City. Visit the Grad Escapes page for more information.

Get active – physical activity is essentially a wonder drug: it can boost our wellbeing, our mood, and our productivity. Take advantage of the athletic facilities on campus and get moving! The School of Graduate Studies now offers a summer gym bursary for all research-stream Master’s and PhD students. You can find more information on the summer gym bursary here.

Like what you read, or want to see something we haven’t covered? Leave a comment below or let us know on Twitter (@UofTGradlife)

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