Top 7 Back to School Tips for Graduate Students

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You’ve made the important decision to enroll in graduate school. You’ve applied, made it through your exams and interviews and got accepted…Congratulations!

While you may be a seasoned college veteran, some solid tips and reminders on how to succeed in higher education never hurt anyone!

School is set to begin! Take a deep breath and read our top advice for succeeding and thriving. To your success!

Get your paperwork in order

This may seem obvious, but make sure all your paperwork and financials are in order before the start of school. Make sure any financial aid forms, scholarships or loan agreement forms are complete and on file at your school. It’s a good idea to pay your tuition before school starts so you don’t get bogged down dealing with payment matters once school has begun. Settle all the paperwork beforehand and you’ll be able to focus solely on your studies, instead of having to deal with any potential time-consuming hassles.

Research your prospective professors and courses

Go online and see what students are saying about professors or courses that you will likely be taking. Choose based on what you find out. If you hear that a professor is particularly demanding or unengaging, you may be able to choose a course given by a different professor. Student reviews can provide invaluable information and help you choose wisely.

Brush up on your study skills

Studying and working smarter is an absolute necessity in grad school! Go online and take advantage of the many free study skills sites available. Here are some key points:

  • Set aside a regular time, or times, for study each day.
  • Study at the same time each day if possible.
  • Don’t attempt to cram all your studying into one session.
  • Start with the most difficult assignment or subject first.
  • Set specific goals for each session.

Practice effective time management

Keep a monthly calendar and write down all exams and assignments with their due dates, school activities as well as out-of-school events and commitments. Keep a notebook (digital, of course) for writing down daily goals to accomplish as well.

Avoid distractions

Avoid distracting, unimportant tasks like frequent email checking, instant messaging, checking the news etc. Create blocks of uninterrupted study/work time. A 2-3 hour block of quality time can be far more productive than multiple 20-minute work periods.

Get social

Join campus activities, organizations or teams! There are many reasons to get out of your bubble and spend time exploring your interests with other like-minded students.  It’s important to get your head out of the books, enjoy life and make friends! By getting involved, you will be making connections and expanding your professional network as well!

Visit your school’s career development office

Even though classes are just starting up, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future career. Check out your school’s career site, and pay a visit to their office as well. Make an appointment if possible to learn about the various opportunities available to you upon graduation. Keep your eye on the prize!

Good luck as you embark on your last leg of higher education!