Friday, January 24th, 2020...6:56 pm

What advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your graduate studies?

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Welcome back my fellow grad students!

I don’t know about you guys, but I have had a stressful couple of weeks. It’s been the kind of stress that I wasn’t expecting. Different commitments both school related and personal, have unexpectedly popped up over the last little while. As I come to the end of another long week, I have a feeling that I am not alone. If you can relate and you’re reading this, I hear ya. You’re not alone either.

Throughout the busy week, I had a question posed to me from someone looking to start graduate studies:


Since my answer to this question has been helpful in getting through a stressful week, I wanted to share them with you. I hope that thinking about this question may help you too.

  1. You know things!

You have worked hard to be here and that has also been helped by knowing a thing or two. Stress might make you forget that you have the tools and knowledge to succeed.

2. Try to use every opportunity to grow

There are so many opportunities in graduate school beyond just academics. Socializing with other students at grad events has benefitted me in ways that are just as significant to the ones I get from reading papers and attending classes.

3. Have fun!

Doesn’t always feel like this is possible when things get stressful, but I try and remind myself what excites me about my degree and what it felt like to get into the program. With this being my last semester of my degree, I try and remind myself to soak it all in because as they say, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

Grad Escape at Bampot House of Tea

4. Be kind to yourself and others

When that one friend seems to be really giving us the cold shoulder, or a stranger is rude to you while you’re walking through campus, just remember that they might be just as stressed as you are. We are all dealing with school and other responsibilities – a smile to someone you make eye contact with in the hallway or holding the door for someone can make a small difference in an otherwise stressful day.

Of course, we are all human, and this list is not something I always feel I can ascribe to. Some days or weeks are more difficult than others and during these times it is important to reach out to those we trust around us for support. That way we can continue to do the work we want to do and enjoy the things we want to enjoy.

I hope that this list is helpful to those starting graduate school, and also to those who are a few years in. To experienced grad students: how would you support yourself when you were starting graduate school? How can you use that to support yourself now?

Talk soon,

Alex

 



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