Grad school is not undergrad 2.0.
Grad school is very different from undergrad. You do much more independent work and will need to revise the study habits and methods that worked for you in undergrad. Often, grad students have been out in the workforce for a few years or are actively working while taking classes, so finding the balance between school and work takes some adjusting. Typically, a full course load will be around 9-12 hours, which is light for undergrad but will keep you very busy here!
Keep up with the reading & assignments
Simply put, you’ll be assigned a lot of reading. There are typically only three to four assignments during the semester, but you can’t start them the night before. Make sure you plan out your papers, stay ahead of the homework, and keep your notes organized to make it easier when you start working on assignments.
Connect with your professors & advisors
Professors are invaluable when it comes to recommendations for fellowships, jobs, and other opportunities both during and after grad school. They are there to help you, and the more effort you put into your relationships with them, the more you will get back.
Get to know the people in your program
The people in your cohort will be your peers and coworkers when you enter the workforce — it is very important to make connections while in grad school to help with future networking. Friend people on LinkedIn, put in effort when doing group projects with classmates, and take the initiative to organize happy-hour drinks to get to know each other outside the classroom.
Take advantage of all the resources and events
There are so many resources available to students! Campus resources, lectures, mico-courses, workshops, conferences, networking events, and events organized by clubs and classmates — try to attend as many as possible. There are so many great ways to meet people, branch out from your program, and get help with your research endeavors.
Give yourself some grace
Grad school is likely a HUGE adjustment — often, it means a new city, new people, finding the groove of work and school schedules to balance, and finding time to prioritize your mental health. Make sure you take time for yourself!