I hope you’ve all been enjoying this blog series about adjusting to graduate school. Today’s post is about scheduling changes: what you should expect in grad school and how you can transition well. When you become a grad student, you might feel that you’re not able to fit everything you need to do within your week, but here are a few ways that you can alleviate this feeling.
Set Your Priorities
As a grad student, it is extremely important to set your priorities early. Priorities can include school, work, family, religious affiliations, hobbies, and plenty others. In his article for U.S. News, Dr. Don Martin advises that anyone looking to attend grad school should realize their priorities first to get an idea of how they want to spend their time in grad school. He describes that you should figure out why you’re attending grad school and then schedule your time based on that. After determining your priorities, the next step would be to apply them to a schedule.
Budget Your Time
We only have a certain amount of time to spend each day, and just like we do with money, we should budget our time wisely. We have 24 hours to spend per day, so it’s important to budget what we’re doing throughout each day, especially graduate students. Whether you assign all your tasks a certain percentage of time each week or you simply write out each task by priority throughout the week, planning ahead will help you see where you spend your time, where you are able to fit more activities, or where you should cut some events. In fact, a PhDStudent article has a few tips about how you can budget your time by thinking of grad school as a day job.
Know Your Limits
You know what you can handle when it comes to relaxing activities outside of schoolwork. Whether you participate in honors clubs or enjoy weekends with friends (or both), you should be aware of plans you make on top of studying or writing papers. We all know that school can be overwhelming, and you can easily burn out, but you can also become burdened with trying to fit in events that are supposed to be fun and relaxing. Instead, allow yourself a certain amount of time each week to recharge your batteries and have some personal time doing whatever helps take your mind off work for a while.
Another resource that I think would be helpful for you is an article from idealist.org because it includes not only changes pertaining to schedules, but also changes with budget and employment. Many students struggle with different changes in grad school, and scheduling changes are no exception. Have scheduling changes been an issue for you? Share your stories in the comment section below.