Starting a new semester and a new graduate program last month I was bright eyed and bushy tailed. Excited that I had finally narrowed down my interest and pretty much my future. All that enthusiasm quickly drained after the first week.
I had barely made a dent in my new adventure of graduate school, and I was unable to shake this overwhelming feeling of falling behind. I am usually able to stay on top of my assigned worked and breeze through it with ease. However, this semester, I have yet to complete/master all the assigned reading given in one week. Its just simply impossible for me. I have other obligations; my boyfriend, my dogs, working out, sleeping, and my own sanity.
There are some professors that lead me to believe that is life as a graduate student. Which is somewhat true, however, there are short cuts to maneuvering around the feeling of impending doom. I wish these secrets would have been shared with me during my Peer Mentoring session, “What You Need To Know To Get Through Grad School.” I feel the items listed below are much more helpful than knowing LMFAO is preforming at CSUN for $5.
I believe it is my duty to pass along this information to other students. These tid-bits of information are pertinent to undergraduate and graduate students a like. In hindsight, they seem like common sense. But when you are drowning in a feeling of failure it is hard to think clearly.
1 You will not be able to complete all that is asked of you in a week, continually.
2 Your peers are also unable to complete all that is asked of them in a week, continually.
3 If your peers say they have completed all the requirements to a satisfactory level; they are either lying to you OR have sacrificed other important aspects of their lives.
4 Your peers feel just as overwhelmed as you do. They just don’t want to admit it, at least not to you.
5 You cannot sustain a successful graduate career on caffeine. Although there have been studies that suggest caffeine does improve the amount of information retained while studying.
6 Sleep in not over rated, it is a necessity.
7 If assigned three articles, master one and have general knowledge about the other two.
8 Professors have been there, they too know the tasks they assign are somewhat impossible. They also know you will get out of school what you choose to put into school.
9 A majority of the above rules do NOT apply to statistics.
10 It is okay to have a little fun and a life outside of school.
11 The most important, surround yourself with positive people. You would be amazed at how much quicker the day goes by with a little laughter.
I would venture to say most of these unspoken rules apply in the working world as well. There are items on our To Do List that are just more important. At times, living life is simply more important than the To Do List.
I am happy to say that with this new knowledge my enthusiasm has returned. I am once again excited and eager to learn. With my focus being on the material at hand and not on my ever expanding To Do List. I have also started to incorporate real life tasks into my To Do List, such as Date Night or Swimming. I always smile a little bit when I cross off a fun activity.