Grad

Making the Most of Your Grad School Experience

If you’ve been accepted into grad school, congratulations! You’ve earned the right to celebrate and relax—but not for too long.

Instead, before you start class, spend some time preparing. If you anticipate the academic and personal challenges of grad school, you’ll be in a better position to make the most of the experience and enjoy it.

Here are four helpful tips:

1. Stay on top of the workload.
As soon as you get your syllabus, map out a schedule for completing readings and assignments on time. Whenever possible, read ahead.

Time management is critical, especially if you’re working while attending grad school. Take advantage of time-management tools to help you prioritize and stay on task. Remember: This schedule is only temporary, and the sacrifices will be well worth it over the long term.

2. Focus less on grades and more on learning.
The lessons of grad school are meant to last long after you take your exams. Studying is important—for the sake of learning, not acing a test. The goal is to master new information and skills so you can apply them throughout your career.

3. Connect with professors and classmates.
Grad school offers a rare opportunity to build lifelong relationships with colleagues and experts in the field. Seek out a mentor. Attend school-related functions. Say “yes” to invitations to join a study group or to discuss coursework over a cup of coffee. The more you become part of the grad school community, the more rewarding your educational experience will be.

4. Take care of yourself.
It’s easy to get caught up in school and work. Strive for work-life balance. Know your limits and be careful not to push past them. Stress is inevitable, so be ready with your own go-to strategies. Whether it’s working off steam in the gym or binge-watching a favorite series, you know what works best for you—and when to take that much-needed break.

Best of luck in grad school and all that comes after! And, if you’ll be earning your graduate degree at Clarkson, be sure to take advantage of all the resources available to you, starting with your advisor. We’re looking forward to working with you.

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