#GradGuidance Inspiration

Advice from grad students to grad students to help you make the most of your graduate school experience posted on the USU Graduate Student social media each week.

 

“Having an appropriate study environment available (until midnight) where I could study alone or in groups and focus uninterrupted for long periods of time made all the difference to me.” 

“My advice would be to make time for yourself, prioritize your mental and physical health, and find people who will support you through the process.” 

“I had to limit the time I was able to spend doing things I loved and I had to adjust my personal life so it would be conducive to being successful as a graduate student.” 

“Fake it ’til you make it (after you’ve given your best, don’t worry about ‘what else you could have done’).” 

“Sometimes it was hard for me to find the motivation to do what I needed to do. By connecting with my teachers and graduate adviser I was able to see the possibilities that if I worked hard I would be able to accomplish and that gave me the motivation.” 

@utahstateITLS Did you know there are writing centers where you can get help writing papers for your classes? https://buff.ly/2DZQ7Li  

“Spend as little money as possible and be aware of how much you’re borrowing. If you need to take a part-time job to keep yourself from making higher payments after graduation, I recommend it.” 

“The biggest difficulty it juggling all of the information and keeping up with everything. I sat down with my professor and laid out a plan. We met at least every-other week, if not more frequently to make sure that I was on track and on schedule.” 

@utahstateITLS Here are some tips for reading academic material that have come from the professors in the ITLS Department. Below are two articles with reading tips that will be helpful to you: https://buff.ly/2CMlEkc  https://buff.ly/2CMukap  

“Find internships!” 

@utahstateITLS If you need to or want to remember (or even memorize) information from your classes, below are some videos with some good techniques on how to do this. https://buff.ly/2CPxg67  https://buff.ly/2E2aAPj  https://buff.ly/2DZOCNa  pic.twitter.com/cwb8n1Yytw 

“I had to learn how to say no to friends and family when my plate became too full. I had to accept that sometimes my house was not going to be perfect and we were going to have something simple for dinner like a bowl of cereal or fish sticks and Mac ‘n cheese.” 

“I would recommend that students seek out scholarships through the university, college, and outside organizations. I would also recommend talking with potential advisors before starting graduate school to discuss options of getting tuition paid through grants.” 

“Towards the end of my first semester in grad school, I prioritized what needed to be read and what I could skim. I just learned to prioritize what was the most important.” 

@vivalaveloz I put all of my good feedback and compliments on my “Personal Resume”. All the stuff I’m proud of goes on it, even if it doesn’t apply to school/work/whatever. When I feel down or Impostery, I just open it up and remember I’m not so bad after all! 

@RachelNiaHager When you receive positive/encouraging feedback about you or your research save it in place you can go back to when imposter syndrome starts to creep in. 

“The biggest struggle was keeping up with all the reading. There is an overwhelming amount of it. Basically a full time job reading the books. Towards the end of my first semester in grad school, I prioritized what needed to be read and what I could skim. Some things I just flat out didn’t read because I didn’t see the value added. I just learned to prioritize what was the most important.” 

“I put all of my good feedback and compliments on my “Personal Resume”. All the stuff I’m proud of goes on it, even if it doesn’t apply to school/work/whatever. When I feel down or Impostery, I just open it up and remember I’m not so bad after all!” 

“I worked full time at the university when working on my PhD so my situation is a bit unique. I would recommend that students seek out scholarships through the university, college, and outside organizations. I would also recommend talking with potential advisors before starting graduate school to discuss options of getting tuition paid through grants.”  

“The biggest challenge for me was accepting what I had to sacrifice to be in graduate school. It was a substantial commitment that took much of my free time and money. As a result, I had to limit the time I was able to spend doing things I loved and I had to adjust my personal life so it would be conducive to being successful as a graduate student. I overcame this by making sure I found time in my very busy schedule to do the things I love even though at times I felt like it was more important to be writing my dissertation, doing research, or studying for exams. I also surrounded myself with positive people who supported me and encouraged me along the way. My advice would be to make time for yourself, prioritize your mental and physical health, and find people who will support you through the process.”  

“The biggest struggle was keeping up with all the reading. There is an overwhelming amount of it. Basically a full time job reading the books. Towards the end of my first semester in grad school, I prioritized what needed to be read and what I could skim. Some things I just flat out didn’t read because I didn’t see the value added. I just learned to prioritize what was the most important.” 

“I was lucky enough that after I was accepted into the graduate program that I knew other students currently in the program and asked a lot of questions before I started myself. So if I could recommend anything it would be to meet current students in your program before starting.”  

“Struggle: Solving this riddle… How to appease 8 different facets of your life when they are all demanding 20% of your total time. (hint- no matter how good you are at math, it doesn’t add up) Solution: Work hard (there’s a reason that you chose this), Multi-task (Eating & family time, Exercise & study, etc.), Embrace the Suck (because it won’t last forever, even though it feels like it), Fake it ’til you make it (after you’ve given your best, don’t worry about ‘what else you could have done’). Follow the above steps in that order.” 

“Graduate school is expensive. Determine if it is really worth the cost before you make the investment.” 

“There were multiple times that I had very low ambition to keep writing and editing my thesis and I was just so sick of it that I got anxiety over the thought of working on it or meeting with my graduate professor. Anxiety is a crippling emotion and while it can be terrifying to face the stresses that are causing it, often times that is exactly what you need to do to feel better. It is ok to admit when you are struggling to your mentor. They understand what it’s like to be in your shoes and want to help you through times like these. I always felt better after doing this.” 

“The biggest struggle was finding time to be a full time employee, Husband, father and student. I was most successful by budgeting my time to complete school work. I also found that by going to the public library to study was a far more effective way of studying rather than staying home and battling the many distractions.” 

“The first year of grad school was the hardest. Learning to adjust to the higher expectations and the high work load of reading, papers, and other homework. I over came it by learning how to be a great skimmer of a lot of information. Reading everything I was asked to read was impossible. I wish I could have learned that skill sooner. By the second year I knew what to expect and was better prepared with my new found “skimming skills.” 

Writer: Bentlee Rice | Office of Research and Graduate Studies | bentlee.rice@usu.edu