First Semester of Grad School | Lessons Learned, Survival Tips and more


  1. Omonigho Eferere says:

    So helpful!
    If I’d had some of this information when I started out, it would’ve saved me a lot of wahala. You’re sooo right about ‘working smart – not hard’. Lol; I learned that one the hard way

  2. Madi Rowan says:

    Your blog is so cute! I’m so happy for you! I love your "survival tips". I think one of the most important things to keep in mind is that things will go wrong, but that is all a part of the process. Life will go on! 🙂

    -Madi xo

  3. manishi says:

    There are many more lessons waiting in next semester. College time teaches a lot.

  4. Leigh says:

    These are GREAT tips!! Especially the one about work-life balance. I think some of us don’t even learn that until we’re in our forties so if you can start enforcing it in college, you’ll priorate yourself and self-care forever!

  5. Kanisha DiCicco says:

    Woo hoo finals season is over! I love that Grad School is going well for you. I plan on going to grad school this next year! I totally feel you on imposter syndrome. I definitely had that when I first came to France to teach English.

  6. Kayla says:

    I’m in grad school as well, and it is so daunting sometimes! Imposter syndrome is real, but I think you are right, you definitely have to believe you’re capable and give yourself some slack!

  7. Asia says:

    I’m so happy for you! I know it must be hard but you’re powering through. I want you to know that I’ve decided to drop out of my associates program and just go for my Masters and I’d be lying if I said you didn’t inspire me to do so. I thought if she can do it, so can I.

  8. Corinne says:

    Hoorayyy!! So glad you’re having fun and creating productive and healthy habits. These are really similar to my own experiences and tips for grad school. I love reading your stories and can’t wait to read more!

  9. Adam Grearson says:

    I just completed my Master’s degree in sociology, and I am now beginning my Ph.D. this coming September (a couple of weeks away!). I found that the following survival tips were extremely useful for me throughout my Master’s degree:

    1. Develop a thorough notetaking system and review your notes at the end of every day for better retention and recall. Use your short-forms or acronyms for words/expressions. There are many tips around notetaking on Tumblr which you may find useful.

    2. Develop a strong professional relationship or rapport with your supervisor. I became a research assistant for my supervisor in the third and final year of my M.A. and it was an incredible experience. But it was the professional relationship that I developed with her, in addition to my academic performance, that helped her offer me the research assistantship. Having a strong rapport with my supervisor helped me flourish as a student, and it ensured that I was never afraid to ask for help (especially while conducting my statistical analysis using coding statistics software for my thesis!).

    Another benefit of this rapport meant that I received a very strong reference letter from my supervisor, which helped me win a major regional scholarship for my Ph.D. degree.

    1. Determine where you study best. I once thought that I should push myself to stay in my office from 8 am to 5 pm five days each week. I assumed that this would offer me the most silence and help me produce the best academic output possible.

    However, I quickly learned that the office was not the best place to do my academic work. My peers and some of my office mates were noisy and many people were overly invested in small talk (which is not my idea of useful endeavour). I later remedied this issue by only going to my university when I had teaching assistant responsibilities (e.g. leading tutorials, office hours, meeting with students), classes, and on-campus meetings. I did the majority of my work from home, which ironically had far fewer distractions than my university office space did.

    There are many more survival tips to offer, but I acknowledge that offering advice would require a great deal of time and effort, as well as many more lines of text! The above tips are some of my go-to tips, but there are others that you will find for yourselves if and when you go to graduate school.

  10. Kathryn says:

    Hi! Great post! I am writing my dissertation on imposter phenomenon and I would just like to clarify it is not a diagnosable disease. You can experience imposter phenomenon and imposter feelings but there is no actual mental health diagnosis.

    For more info see the webpage of the woman who coined the phrase and is the OG researcher for this topic:

  11. Najhe Smith says:

    Thank you for this post queen ✨

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