For many with an undergraduate degree under their belt, the most sensible thing to do is to dive straight into the world of employment. For others, however, the next logical step is graduate school. Whether your chosen career path requires further in-depth study or you’re simply a fan of academia, graduate school represents an exciting route that will lead to a very bright future if you play your cards right. In this article, we explain the basics of surviving graduate school and making the most of your experiences there.
Just Because You’re Older Doesn’t Mean It’s Easier
Many people head to graduate school one year, five years, twenty years or even longer after they first leave college. In that time, most will have matured, learned their own particular techniques and approaches to work and found out a little more about themselves. However, a greater level of self-possession and additional skills won’t change the fact that going back into education is a challenge. You’ll need to re-teach yourself that college discipline, be willing to work to your tutor’s schedules and throw yourself back into studying with dedication.
Now’s the Time to Forge Your Career
Grad school represents an opportunity to do the networking and elbow rubbing that you missed out on in college. Talk to your professors, make connections and attend all the extracurricular events you can in order to spread your net. When you were an undergrad, most of your peers will have had little experience in the field you were studying. In grad school, you’ll be surrounded by fully-fledged adults with significant working lives already behind them. Many of these people will have picked up valuable skills that you can learn by spending time with them. Some may even prove to be great potential business partners.
You Can Still Apply for a Loan
It’s a common misconception that you can only go to grad school if you can afford the fees off the bat. This isn’t true at all – otherwise hardly anyone would be able to go. There are plenty of private loans available for graduate school students to pay for your education, whatever the qualification you’re studying for – from MBAs to MScs to MPhils.
Don’t rush anything to do with your studies. Take your time with your work and ask any and all questions you may have. Now is the time to truly enjoy your field and build on your knowledge in order to become an expert. Read as much as possible – not just the books and papers recommended to you by your tutors, but any other relevant publications you can find. Attend all the lectures you can, discuss your subject extensively with fellow students and generally immerse yourself.
Motivation is Key
It’s important to maintain a huge level of love for your area of study in order to graduate with the best qualification possible. Keep pushing, keep exploring, keep studying and stay motivated all the while. After all, you’re doing this because you love it, and a positive result might just change your life.