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5 Ways to Adjust to Graduate School

5 Ways to Adjust to Graduate School

Kristie Lorette,

The transition from undergraduate to graduate student can be an enormous one. Many things change during the transition that pretty much entirely change you life. There are things that you should know about before you enter graduate school, so that you will be prepared to deal with them. Once you deal with them, them you will be able to become adjusted to graduate school and the newness that it brings.

Have Confidence in Yourself and Your Abilities

Probably the number one thing that you will hear graduate students say is that when they first started their graduate program they started to question whether or not their college had made a mistake by accepting them. They became so overwhelmed by the enormity of their new responsibilities that they started to question their abilities to handle them. It is extremely important to your success that you maintain your confidence. You are good enough and smart enough to be there, and you can handle what graduate school throws your way or you never would have been accepted in the first place.

Tackle Your Adjustment Period

Embrace your new surroundings and your new experiences when you start your graduate program. Instead of focusing on all of the changes as being negative, turn them into a positive light. Find out as much as you can about the community that the college is located in and the student activities that the school has to offer. By planning to participate in a few activities it will be easier to acclimate yourself to your new environment. It will not always be easy to deal with the changes of living in a new city, dealing with a new program, and meeting new people, but it will get easier over time. And the more ways you proactively attack your adjustment period the less ways your adjustment period will have to tackle you!

Time Management

Being a graduate student brings a very overflowing plate of responsibility to your table. The best way to handle all of your responsibilities is to set your priorities from the beginning and then organize your schedule to carry out your responsibilities in order of importance. This will allow you to manage your time by spending more time on the important tasks and less time on the not so important tasks.

Set Specific Goals

Set specific goals to accomplish. Write them down. Don’t just come up with them in your head. After you have your goals established make a step-by-step plan on what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Schedule and manage your time in an efficient manner so that you create opportunities that will allow you to achieve your goals. Almost all graduate students go into graduate school with general goals, but they get so bogged down by their new responsibilities that they don’t really end up accomplishing any of them. By setting specific goals and writing a plan of attack you will find yourself well on the way to success.

Eat Healthy & Take Care of Yourself

Graduate school can take a mental and physical toll on your health if you let it. In order to sustain the long hours and multiple responsibilities it is important that you take care of yourself and your body. Eating healthy food instead of fast food and getting enough rest to relax your mind and body will make your adjustment to graduate much easier than if you are dragging around like a zombie.

While these are a few suggestions on how you can adjust and cope with graduate school, there are many other ways to adjust as well. You have to find the ways that best fit you. By following these suggestions it will help to make your transition from undergrad to grad school a lot easier.

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