Grad school can be a big challenge, and finding the time for your studies, extracurriculars, and downtime on a quarter system can seem overwhelming and even impossible.
But never fear! Many before you have done it and soon you will too! Here are some tips that helped me navigate grad school and hopefully they will help you conquer not only your studies and extracurriculars, but find the much needed time for yourself during school.
- Make a schedule
The most important thing you can do during grad school to keep up with everything academically and otherwise is to make a schedule. For some, a planner works best for this, others may use Google calendar or notes. Whatever your mode of scheduling, be sure that you make a plan. Figure out the amount of time you want to allot for each class, as well as the time you want to devote to extracurriculars, exercise, downtime etc. Having it all down it gives you the ability to use your time wisely, and to know how much you have on your plate at any given time.
- Study smarter not harder
Make sure you are using your allotted time wisely! Everyone has a different method of studying that works for them. If you found your style in undergrad that’s amazing, if not try different methods and find which works for you. Some people love typing up their notes, some love flash cards, and others find making quizzes to be most helpful. While one of these methods may work great for one person, the same method may work poorly for someone else. It’s important that you study in a manner that works best and is most effective for you so that you optimize the time you spend on a subject. It’s also a great to group study and share study resources with your peers in order to better understand the information and see concepts from different angles.
- Make time for relaxation/self-care
Everyone needs time to wind down, and everyone winds down differently. In order to make your studies productive and avoid burn out, be sure to schedule yourself some free time to unwind and de-stress. Whether this is taking a hike, drawing, working out, or just watching some Netflix, make sure that you take the time to wind down and get your mind off things for a bit. It will make your productive time more productive and prevent you from burning out or getting overly frustrated.