Planning to go to grad school?
Before you do, make sure you know what to expect and what you should do as soon as you step into the campus. It’s a harsher, more demanding experience compared to your undergrad years, after all.
Don’t worry, we can help you get started. We’ve got 10 crucial tips to help you when it comes to preparing for grad school. Follow these steps below to get through alive and, hopefully, at the top of your class:
1. Approach Your Advisor
Don’t forget you already have a mentor always at the ready. Your advisor is there to help you find available resources, facilities, and student programs. They can also help you in regards to issues with the faculty or other students.
Even when they don’t have the answers, you can still find value in approaching your advisor. They could point you in the right direction.
Don’t forget one crucial bit: you pay for their services so why not take advantage of their expertise and help?
2. Support Groups and Clubs
Grad school can become an excruciating and exhausting experience. You’ll have to march your way through a battlefield of classes and projects. You might have to re-work balancing your life with school, work, and free time.
It’s an insane cycle so seek support groups or clubs to avoid isolation and madness. It’s always healthy to get in touch with other people who understand the struggles you go through. They can also help you enjoy and discuss your hobbies or interests outside of school work.
Look for groups that can also pitch in to help with school activities and work. You might need thesis writing help, for example, and some offer services to edit your work or provide better research. Use these when you can!
3. Apply for Scholarships
There’s no denying how expensive grad school can get. One solution to reduce your expenses is to apply for every scholarship and grant you can find. There’s no shame in applying for all of the scholarships you know you might qualify for.
Keep in mind that most scholarships won’t cover all your grad school expenses. They might only pay a portion of your tuition fees, books, or rent. Scholarships also require you to maintain good grades and attendance, which is good to help you stay on track.
4. Pay Off What You Can
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to preparing for grad school is the cost. Going to graduate school is, without a doubt, expensive. Most people need to take out a loan on top of the one they already have for their undergraduate degree.
You can cut down on these expenses by paying off little by little. Try to pay off the interest fees while you can, ensuring your loan won’t grow to an impossible sum.
5. Get Some Sleep
Preparing for graduate school, in many ways, also means saying farewell to a good night’s sleep. You’ll spend nights working on projects and work. It’ll be a struggle to get some sleep.
When you can squeeze in sleep, do it! It might be tempting to use the extra hours to study some more, play with friends, or go out drinking but if you know you lack sleep, prioritize that instead.
Lack of sleep can negatively affect your grades. You won’t be able to respond quickly and you might not pay attention to the lessons.
6. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
Did you know you might qualify for a few student tax breaks?
This all depends on where you live, the school you are in, the kind of course you study, and your background. You might get a few hundred bucks back and use the cash to pay your tuition or miscellaneous fees.
You might get more if you don’t owe the IRS anything.
7. Consider a Part-Time Job
If you have to, consider getting a part-time job. Even a 4-hour per day job can help you settle student debt and still have extra cash to pay for your thesis requirements, school projects, research, and more.
The good news is that there are more resources today than there were a decade ago. You might find great freelance work on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. These sites allow you to hunt for short-term or long-term jobs that fit right into your wheelhouse of skills and interests.
8. Use Every Resource
Going to grad school can seem scary. It’s a big leap after your undergraduate years and it demands a lot more attention and dedication. That said, there are multiple resources so take advantage of them!
It’s likely your school will have a physical and digital library available. There might be discussion forums and websites for students to engage with each other. You might also find specific school departments and professors who might take you in as an apprentice.
9. It’s Okay to Seek Therapy
There’s no denying that grad school can get exhausting and depressing. You might struggle in keeping up with the class or with all the expenses or projects to finish. When you feel too tired, depressed, lonely, or unsure of yourself, seek help.
Most schools offer counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists to maintain the mental health of the students. There’s nothing shameful in seeking therapy! It’s a good idea to seek professional health so you won’t fall into a dangerous depression.
Using natural herbs and medicines can help in use with therapy. Using a plant like Kratom powder can help you focus, and keep a clear mind when all you want to do is shut down.
10. Unwind When You Can
Another tip to prepare for grad school is to always unwind when you can. Even if it’s only for a few hours a week, spend time with your friends or do your favorite hobby. Whether it’s watching movies, reading books, or playing video games, these all help relax your mind and ease your mood.
Preparing for Grad School Isn’t Impossible!
Ready to take the leap? Preparing for grad school isn’t all that impossible. Simply follow these tips and you’ll be able to stay sane, energetic, and financially stable throughout your time in grad school.
Of course, preparing and dealing with grad school isn’t the end! You’ll have to go through a lot more trials in life, like building credit and getting a house. Fortunately, we cover a wide range of topics so feel free to read more of our guides here today!