To follow up with a previous blog about the 5 Tips for Getting Into Graduate School, I wanted to discuss some tips for being successful after getting into grad school.
For those of you beginning your graduate degree, congrats! It is such a relief to be done with the GRE, recommendation letters and the whole application process. What now? Well, to be honest, the hard work has just begun, but that is not the whole story. Here are some tips that I have found to be helpful to being successful in grad school here at Florida Tech.
1. This may seem like a no-brainer, but get some sleep.
It is very easy to get bogged down with the workload as a graduate student, but making sure to take care of yourself is just as important. So take a siesta and find a tree to pop a squat under, or you can do like I did and find a nice table to relax on. Getting sleep helps your brain reboot and recharge for the next day of work ahead.
2. Let the reading begin.
Obviously, you are in school and there will be studying and READING involved. I am sure it was relatively easy to get through undergrad without having to really read the material, but in grad school, that is not the case. Most graduate classes are discussion-based classes, which means that you are required to speak up and ask questions about the topic that day. Reading is the surefire way to be prepared for classes and exams. The good news is that the material is probably incredibly interesting as this is your field of study. Hopefully, you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work when you get your homework and exams back with that big “A” at the top.
3. This is the beginning of your professional career, get pumped.
You are now entering the realm that is your career, get excited! This can mean a variety of things. I know for me it involved talking with pilots in the College of Aeronautics about their experiences, reading daily news about what is going on in the industry, and even having the chance to watch an airshow as pictured above. It is great learning in the classroom about what you will be around and doing for your career, but it comes alive when you go out and jump in.
4. Get involved in your major.
I love being an Aviation Human Factors master’s student. It means that I get to work alongside faculty and colleagues to learn more about the aviation industry. Getting involved can be a daunting task at times, but if you are determined, you can do it. Reach out to faculty and find out what research they are doing. Make yourself available to help out and always be open for improvement. Try and make an effort to attend events that the university puts on, like the Safety Symposium. Always jump at the opportunity to get involved and learn more. I had the opportunity to go up in one of the school’s Piper planes and get to see what flying is really like. I finally was able to see how everything in the classroom related back to the real world.
5. And most importantly, be happy where you are at.
I cannot stress enough how important this tip is for being successful in grad school and in life. When you are happy with where you are at, the hard times do not seem as hard and the good times are just that much more rewarding. Find a reason to love and be passionate about your degree and the rest will follow. The long nights, 15-page papers and reading assignments will be a breeze and you will be successful as a graduate student.
These tips are not necessarily the usual tips for success, but ones that I found very important for my success thus far in grad school. Find what works for you and hopefully these tips with help guide you on that journey. Best of luck!