Rewarding Yourself: A Gift from Someone Special

With all the stress in graduate school, it is also important to reward yourself for your accomplishments and jobs well done. Without positive reinforcement, it’s easy to feel burnt out and to become bored with your life as a graduate student. Because you might rarely receive positive reinforcement from others, you must reward yourself to survive stress in graduate school. Before you can reward yourself, you must first realize that you have accomplished something. Pause for a moment, and acknowledge that you have done something great. Let yourself get excited about it; this is the only way to successfully combat stress in graduate school. Think back on your hard work before this point. Have you ever heard the phrase, “The punishment fits the crime”? The opposite is also true: “The reward fits the accomplishment.” If you achieve something small, like studying for an hour or finishing your homework that’s due for the next class, then you should reward yourself by going out with your friends or indulge by watching your guilty pleasure TV show for a while. If you accomplish a larger goal, like passing all your finals or getting an A in all your classes, then you should celebrate with a small vacation or a shopping spree. Make sure to share your good news with your family and friends; you could even choose to make your announcement at a gathering, instead of just tweeting about it. Chances are, someone in your group will be truly impressed about your accomplishment and might even want to celebrate with you to relieve your stress in graduate school. Finally, take time to appreciate the moment of success. Focus on your completed goal before automatically concentrating on the next one. If you don’t do this, then you might turn into a study robot, take all the fun out of your graduate school experience, and succumb to the stress in graduate school.

 

 

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