Thinking of Going to Graduate School
I started graduate school less than five months after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. For me, I had to start as soon as I could. I started graduate school knowing that it would be tough, but beneficial in the end. I was lucky enough to qualify for the Advanced Standing Program which allowed me to complete the program in one year instead of the usual two.
Because every school/major is different every tip below may not apply, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. I done previous post on college, but for now here are just a few graduate school tips:
1.Purchase your textbooks
This is so important. I know many people in undergrad who choose not purchase textbooks. Instead they piggybacked on other classmates or borrowed from previous students. Some students chose to rent the textbooks. I personally purchased all of my textbooks for my major classes. Not because I always had the funds, but because I knew that it would be beneficial in the long run. Some of those same textbooks from undergrad I used to not only to assist in gradate school, but also while studying for my licensure exam.
2 .Study… Study
I admit I spent plenty of nights in undergrad not studying for a test I had. Instead, I maybe chose to study the night before, or after I came in from an event, or depending on the schedule right before the class. In graduate school, I’ll be honest and say sometimes, I was just tired. Although it didn’t happen often sometimes I didn’t always study as hard or as long as I should have. I didn’t always put my all into studying. So sometimes I got lucky.. and other times, the lack of preparation showed.
3. Manage Your Time
I remember sitting in a meeting with my classmates listening to our professor list all the things we had to do during our last semester. Not only are you having to complete assignments, study, read, internship, work, etc, but we also had a few important projects to plan. The common thought was “How am I going to get all of this stuff done?” Although it seems hectic, it can be done; it is simply all about how you manage your time. Not only do you have to make time for school and studying, but also family and friends, a significant other, church, and social events.
4. Purchase a planner
This goes with the above. I love planners. In school every class had a particular color. (Ex: favorite subject/teacher= favorite color). I highly suggest purchasing a calendar to help you keep track of meetings, paper deadlines, homework due dates, test dates, and anything else. I will say be careful writing in ink because dates can change and seeing a multitude of strikethrough may not be too appealing to you. My current planner is from the brand Me&MyBigIdeas they can be found at Michaels. The first real planner I had came from Office Depot. You can also purchase planners from Ross, Target, or Marshall’s. It honestly depends on your planner needs.
5. You are (becoming) the expert
Being in graduate school means that you are a wealth of knowledge. People will expect you to know a lot. Your thoughts and opinions matter. Co-workers will ask you to review their work or to give your views on a work matter. I was chosen to do a presentation in front of my department simply because I had a Master of Social Work degree. This was a topic I knew nothing about.
If you are considering graduate school, think hard about it. Although it gives you a ton of options after graduation, it is not always easy. Last week I talked about Reasons to Not Attend Graduate School, please check out that post to hopefully help in your decision making.