1. We’re not in Kansas anymore.
This is not undergrad anymore. I got a harsh reality when I realized that grad school was a lot different than undergrad. Although I graduated cum laude as an undergrad the work was a lot for grad school. Plus I had a lot more support then, than I do now. We are a bit spoiled by our parents, teachers, bosses, with the transition of college. I am officially an adult with more responsibilities to balance. I have class with 40-year-old professionals with tons of experience, and here I am almost fresh out of college. They work and go to school. And now so do I. No one is holding my hand, pushing me to do anything. Completely rely on self. (But I’ve made some pretty cool 40 year old friends.)
2. Stress less, Do More.
I considered myself superwoman as I balanced work and school. But I complained. ALOT. I’m pretty sure I annoyed everyone around me during finals week. The stress was too real, (sorry friends) I am not being dramatic. Then I realized instead of stressing I just had to isolate myself for a while and get all my work done. And I did. I didn’t talk to my friends for like a week but it was worth it. I got everything done and got to enjoy my free time after with the people I love.
3. It’s okay to cry.
With that said. You will cry. Hard. Maybe even in public. (judge me). But there is no better feeling than letting it all out. SO let it out. No one really understands your grad life problems but your fellow grad students so rant to them. Not to others. Trust me. Others do not care. After you turn off the waterworks go do something for yourself like buy expensive chocolate (I spent $50) , do yoga, or go on a spa day! (I ended up doing all three).
4. Milk the experience for all it has to offer!
Take advantage of the experience. Go to all the events that include your major. Take as many notes as you can, this isn’t just another undergrad class this is your career so be the best ____ (fill in the blank with your dream profession) there is! I sit in the front of all my classes like a sponge absorbing all the information. My professors are geniuses with amazing careers. They are also a great source for guidance and for networking so follow them all on LinkedIn and/or Twitter.
And if you are currently in grad school, enjoy this parody article.