Succeeding as a Graduate or Doctoral Student

Succeeding as a Graduate or Doctoral Student

If you have obtained a Bachelor’s degree, this in and of itself is no small feat. Three to four long years of preparing for a new, future career require some level of commitment and perseverance. However, if you have your sights set on a Master’s or Doctorate degree, I am here to let you know that although it is not easy, it can be done. You can be successful as a graduate or doctoral student.

Learn to Take Great Notes

Perhaps during your undergraduate years, you simply breezed through. Or perhaps you were Magna Cum Laude. Regardless, you will still need to be able to pay attention and take great notes and refer to them for your papers and tests. There will be a significant amount of information. Having notes will help to remind you what was covered in your classes.

Read What is Most Important

There is a lot of reading required. So much reading is required that there will not be enough time to complete it all. Therefore, you must be diligent in reading bolded information and information that stands out. Be sure to look over the summaries at the end of the chapters as well.

Manage Your Time Wisely

There will seemingly never be enough time to complete everything. Along with school, you might be working a part-time or full-time job, raising a family, and pursuing other hobbies and interests. Therefore, do your best to stay on top of your assignments. Complete them ahead of time if you can.

You Can Change Your Major if You Desire

If you want to change your major or career, then do not give up until you do. Perhaps there are certain class requirements or prerequisites that you must fulfill to be accepted into the program. This is something that I had to do switching from English and Education to Psychology. I will be making this change again in the future, so do not be afraid to make changes. My mother always told me, “You have to make it happen.”

Try to Have a Balanced Life

While being a graduate or doctorate student is difficult, you will still need to take breaks. You will need to have moments of rest and time of relaxation. There will be at least a couple of days where you need to rest and not think about schoolwork at all. If you do schoolwork every day, you will crash and burn. Therefore, give yourself time to relax and be pampered. Take a nap, get a massage, or go for a walk. Take up a new hobby. Just be sure to enrich your life with more than just school.

Stay Determined and Do Not Give Up

The road to completing a Master’s or Doctorate degree is not easy. In fact, it can be very frustrating. There will be days when you feel alone and as though no one else understands what you are going through. Despite this, remember your reasons for pursuing your degree. Even if you have to take a break and regroup, do not give up on your dreams. No matter what your goals are, you can obtain your Master's or Doctorate degree.

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