How to Survive Grad School

Grad school… It basically feels like the apocalypse. For some reason you have decided that you need to go back to school because one degree isn’t enough and now you are not sure how you are going to survive. It’s like preparing for the Hunger Games.

Here are some helpful hints to make it to the end:

1. Organization/Scheduling

Without a doubt this is the most important thing – you must make a schedule and plan out every single aspect of your life. Currently I work a full-time job, do freelance work on the side, take 2 classes a semester, have a significant other who lives an hour away, and am the single pet parent to a cat with a very large appetite and a crazy dog who needs attention or he will eat all of my belongings.

I have a planner and it is LIFE – every single thing I do, or need to do, is written into the planner and I cross things out as I go. If I don’t get to something then I write it down for the next day until it is accomplished. I plan nights to see the guy, nights to see my ladies, relaxation time, homework/study time, etc. Yes, it seems crazy and a bit obsessive but I swear it is the only way I stay on track.

2. Make time for fun

This is imperative. You will go absolutely out of your mind insane if you don’t have a little bit of fun time each week. I have one night a week where I go to my friend’s house, we have nachos and sangria, and we watch Pretty Little Liars (stop judging me). It’s not a lot of fun time, but it is a nice break from the overwhelming amount of EVERYTHING else and I would not survive without it.

kshelton / Pixabay

3. Talk to someone when you need to

You need a friend (or a professional, if you choose) who you can just vent to when you feel overwhelmed and like you want to give up, and cry to if that’s how you’re feeling that day. It is incredibly unhealthy to hold in stress and it will make your balancing act feel impossible. If your friend is not willing to listen to you vent, then you need new friends because this is a time in your life when that extra shoulder to lean on is a lifesaver.

When all else fails just repeat… “I am Katniss… I am Katniss…” and you shall persevere.

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