To make the statement “Grad school is hard” is the understatement of the century. People, whether that be your classmates or those with a career, are always encouraging college students to go to grad school to get a master’s degree. While having that second degree is great to have and fun to show off, you have to be ready to work HARD.
The key to graduate school is time management. We have heard professors talk time and time again about managing our time; however, in grad school, they are not kidding. Each class at the graduate level has a ton of work required. For me, I am taking 9 credit hours (3 classes), and although that may not seem like much the workload for each class is more than enough to keep me tired.
As a graduate student, I have found that managing my time is the only way that I can turn in my best work. Not only am I taking graduate classes and doing the work that is required, but I also am the editor in chief for Winthrop’s literary magazine, work as a graduate assistant in Winthrop’s writing center, am a desk host in a dorm building, and write articles for my colleges Her Campus chapter and the college newspaper The Johnsonian. If I want to meet the expectations of each of these roles, I have no choice but to time manage.
Time management is definitely easier said than done, so below are a few ways that I have found are helpful in making sure I am managing my time in a way to make me successful.
- Use a planner and calendar
We have all fallen victim to missing deadlines. As a result of buying and using both a calendar and planner, I have been able to keep up with when I have work, need to turn in my articles, and when I have a deadline for an assignment. Although it may sound excessive and time consuming, I always put my due dates in my planner, on the calendar on my laptop, and on the calendar that is hanging on my room wall. By doing this, I always have access to when I have things due or somewhere to be. Using fun-colored pens and highlighters can also make this task a little less like a chore and a little fun.
- Become friends with people in your classes
It can be a little awkward making new friends but making these connections in grad school is so important! In my first of graduate school, I have had A LOT of questions and by making friends with a few people in my classes has given me a place to ask these questions. We often talk about our paper topics and brainstorm with each other or talk about the material before and after class to make sure we understood it all properly. These new friends will also keep you on track by constantly asking about your coursework!
- Create a space to work
I have found that having a designated place to do my schoolwork has benefited me tremendously. I make sure that my desk is always neat and cleaned off so that when I am ready to begin working on my assignments, I can get straight to it rather than having to take the time to organize and clear it off.