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Adjusting to Graduate School

September 1, 2017

A blog post from SOLES MA in Higher Education Leadership Ambassador, Chantal Hernandez:

Nervous about being a graduate student? Excited about what’s to come? Well here are some tips from a fellow graduate student that I hope will help!

Understanding the increase in the amount of workload required from graduate school and how much is manageable for you is important. Balancing work and school can be overwhelming at times but there are many great professors at USD that will be there to support you in any way they can if you reach out. Keeping this in mind, the first semester will be an adjustment period where you shouldn’t overwhelm yourself with too much workload and responsibilities on and off campus and instead get to know how much is a healthy balance for you.

Self-care is extremely important at this level of education. It can be very easy to not allow yourself time to relax and take care of yourself with everything that graduate school demands. Don’t forget to take the time to re-energize your body by enjoying fun activities, enjoying others’ company, or by simply sleeping more! Your cohort can be a great resource in this aspect. Your cohort will be taking similar classes, taking on similar responsibilities, and are the ones that will understand firsthand what you are feeling.

Lastly, get to know the campus and the area you are now a part of! On campus resources like Graduate & Law Commons will expose you to other graduate students on-campus and their experiences and knowledge. This will help you stay connected and aware of the support and guidance that is at USD. If you are new to San Diego, go explore and see new places and become a part of this great city. This will help you in adjusting to a new environment and becoming more comfortable with the community and the people.

Above all, enjoy this experience you have worked hard to get to!

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