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Sharaya’s 5 Tips to Graduate School: Series Three

Sharaya S. is a first year graduate student majoring in Education at Wayne State Univeristy. Join Sharaya as she hosts a three part series blog giving tips and personal experiences on how to successfully transition into graduate school!

Welcome to the last step, thank you for following my blog series! Step 5 focuses on after you have been accepted/admitted and have just registered for first semester of graduate school.
Congratulations you made it in, and if you haven’t received an admission letter don’t worry just broaden your search for graduate schools. Applying is only half the battle, getting in and staying in is the other half. Don’t just think about getting in to your “dream” school, there are literally hundreds of colleges that may fit your interests.

a.       Introduce yourself to your professors!
One of the best words of advice when I registered for classes was from my Great-Aunt Lorraine. She told me to email my professors and introduce myself. I thought this was odd, as in undergrad I would have just waited for the first day of classes. Taking a couple days to think on what she said I took her advice and emailed my professors stating who I was, why I picked the program and what I hope to learn. My professors were quick to reply, stating their own interests and what I will learn in their class. This gave me a better feeling of comfort and self-assurance. You might feel like graduate school is a huge journey but with building a comfort level you will in-turn feel better about the journey itself.

b.      Set goals for the semester!!
This is a brand new start! Don’t think this will be similar to undergrad because it most likely won’t! The typical time frame to finish a master’s degree is 2-5 years (depending on full vs. half time) but the credit hours are greater per class in grad school. Example: Full-time in undergrad is 12 credits while Graduate school it’s usually 8 credit hours. Graduate school is more about self-pace. You have to set goals and make sure you stick to your graduation timeline. Make a plan of work with your advisor as soon as you can register. This will help you have a clear vision of when you should be completed and around what time you should be looking for employment (the last semester before graduation or a couple weeks before.)

c.       Don't procrastinate!!!
Expect to be busy. Let me repeat that for you, you will be busy! Grad school is for the motivated and there will be big projects, assignments and papers that will have to come before fun. Once you receive your syllabus input all due dates and mark a week ahead as a reminder. Usually grad school professors don’t take late work so be pre-prepared.
To stay stress-free and focused try to exercise (2-3 days a week), eat nutritiously (reduce fast food intake, drink water), and sleep (8-9 hours) to reduce stress and maximize academic potential. Lastly, limit social media because you will need to start focusing on yourself and not what other people are doing on vacation. Distractions are distractions for a reason, stay focused on finishing your degree. Social media won’t miss you. Thank you so much for reading my 5th and final step of “5 Tips for Grad School Success.”

Follow me on Instagram @Texasbabii_ to follow my graduate school journey, check out my personal blog and feel free to send me any questions/concerns at sharaya.solomon@yahoo.com.

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