I am five months, one week and six days into graduate school and I haven’t gone insane yet. Whether you’re in school or already in the professional world, it can sometimes be a challenge to stay afloat. With so much to do and so little time, here are my tips to staying sane in graduate school.
1. Organize your Agenda
I am meticulous about my agenda and I am in shambles when I forget it. Every reading assignment, meeting, task or event is color coded and added into my agenda the moment I get it. I organize my homework a week ahead so I never get behind. Most importantly, I stick to it. Checking items off my to-do list is one of my favorite feelings in the world. So, find a beautiful agenda, a system that works for you, and follow it.
2. Get Ahead
As a follow up to that, I’m ahead in all my work and reading. This isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. As I said, I organize my agenda a week ahead. Thus, the work due this week is already done and the items in my agenda are due next week. Sometimes we need nights off or an event pops up last minute. In this case, I can to take a break without needing to play catch-up later.
3. Get Outside
I should say something about working out, but I’m not a hypocrite. Working out definitely helps me fight fatigue/headaches and focus on work, but I hate it and I don’t do it enough. As a nice cop-out, I go outside. I don’t jog or workout while I’m there, but a break in the fresh air resets me. There is nothing less inspiring than being stuck inside and working for hours. Ten minutes won’t make or break your assignment, so take a break.
4. Read for YourselfThis is especially important for us graduate students. Read poetry, novels, short stories, magazines, cookbooks – anything. Give your brain a break and read something you enjoy. It will make those hours of textbook reading slightly less miserable.
I know, we all think staying up until 3:00 a.m. means we get more work done. Unplug, read and fall asleep earlier. You will be more focused and inspired the next day. More importantly, you will produce more quality work.
6. Eat, Drink and Be Merry
We deserve it. Carve some time out to be with your loved ones. They’re what matters.
A Boston girl via Toronto. University of Toronto, Sheridan College, and Boston University alumna. Passionate about ending domestic violence. Hoping to never go a day without carbs or chocolate.