I start graduate school in a matter of days! I have friends who will start later this summer, this fall, or the following year. Regardless of where you are in the process, grad school has a different type of preparation than your undergrad. Of course, if depends on your academic mode. My program is distanced with face-to-face internships.
Whether your grad school is entirely on campus, distanced, or hybrid, these tips will surely help you prepare for your next chapter.
Set your Workspace
Have a designated space to do work and feel motivated. Maybe it’s an office, an outside area, or a comfortable desk; wherever you are, be sure that it is free from distractions.
Find your Tracker
Remember the years in elementary when your teachers required you to use planners? Gone are those days, but organization is still key. Decide how you want to keep track of due dates.
Below are some tracker recommendations:
- Google Calendar
- Planner (daily, weekly, or monthly)
- Reminder app
I’m going to use a combination of a monthly planner and Asana/Google Calendar.
Select your Mode
How are you going to take notes? Will you go entirely paperless or have a notebook? I’m going to use a designated notebook for my classes. I find them to be more attractive and desiring to look back at. While digital notes are convenient, they can get lost with other files on your desktop.
Make your Schedule
If you start your program in the summer, there is more leeway to a dedicated schedule. Maybe you decide to do a little work throughout the day. Once the busyness of the fall looms, start planning when you’ll work on your studies.
Check your Mindset
You have to go into this new chapter in a clear headspace. Gone are the things you wished you did during your bachelor’s. This is now. I suggest doing some meditation and self-care regularly and especially leading up to your start date.
Write your Goals
By checking your mindset, you can set clear goals for yourself. Maybe you want to test the waters with a mode or class time. Maybe, you’ll strive for A’s. Whatever your goal(s) is/are, make them visible and go for it!
Do your Best
No matter what your first semester brings, do your best and know that it is your best. There’s nothing better than that.