With these next few posts, I would like to put some of the more glamorous aspects of grad school on hold – yes, there are many glamorous aspects of grad school – and talk about a very serious issue that impacts many graduate students: burnout. In part one of this two-part series, I will be talking about what burnout is, and some of the warning signs that you might be…

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Now that I’ve told you how to apply for graduate school, you might be wondering how you’re going to pay for it all. If thinking about paying for grad school sends you into a panicked frenzy, then just take a deep breath and read this post to put things into perspective before you change your mind about grad school. Apply Early Applying early has paid off (in more ways…

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Are you about to present a poster at a research conference? Here are some tips to ensure a great poster session: Know your audience’s poster-viewing style People typically peruse the title posters and if it involves something that interests them, they’ll stop and check it out. Some people want to read your poster without interruption. They may decide to ask you questions, or they may walk away without asking questions. Other…

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The program I am going to does not offer any stipends or financial aid. Is it doable to work full time and be a full time grad student? –Busy Bee Hi Busy Bee, This is a great question that pertains to many people, so I’m glad you asked it. A lot of people may be either too proud or afraid to ask this. Working full time and being a full-time grad student simultaneously is doable, but be cautioned that it is difficult. I know a lot of people who are in similar situations with full-time jobs, full-time student status, and families, and I can see them struggling with it. However, it works for some.

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Presenting your research at a conference? Should you present a poster or a paper? Here are some pros and cons of both. Poster Presentations Pros Easy to prepare Create a few summary sentences in PowerPoint, add some tables or figures, and you’re good to go. Interaction with people one-on-one Poster presentations are usually 2 hours, which means more opportunities to have…

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I have really enjoyed my undergraduate program, and my university has a very good master’s program in social sciences. When talking to professors about going to graduate school, some have discouraged me from going to the same school. If I don’t plan on going into academia, does it really matter if both of my degrees are from the same school? What if I do decide to go into academia? –To Stay or Not To Stay Dear To Stay or Not To Stay, Thank you for asking this question because many students don’t understand how people feel about students’ staying at the same university for undergraduate and graduate school.

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Lots of grad students are afraid of failure. Let me tell you about one of my biggest mess-ups in grad school (and they still let me graduate)! It was the semester I completed my qualifying exam, proposed my dissertation, and started to run Experiment 1. I was the TA for a lower-level course with 80+ students. My reputation around the department was that I’m a pretty conscientious person. I…

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I am deep into my proposal and my advisor is not communicating with me in a timely manner for changes. What can I do? –Lacking Communication Dear Lacking, I understand not knowing what to do in these cases because you may not know if your advisor is one who fails to get back with students on a regular basis or if he or she rarely misses an email in a given day.This issue can be solved by taking a step back and approaching it with a new perspective. Put yourself in your advisor’s shoes and figure out the factors that may be delaying his or her responses.

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I am almost done with my course work, in fact I am only 9 credit hours and a dissertation away from graduating. My problem is that due to sequencing, I am only able to take 3 hours this semester, which puts me at part time status. Since I am not a full time student, not only will I lose my financial aid, but I will have to start paying back my loans. What can I do? –Ineligible for Fin Aid Dear Ineligible, First of all, congratulations on getting this far. I know it has been a bumpy road at times, but you are getting there, so continue going strong.

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I recently had the experience of expecting my first baby a month before I graduated. Throughout the process, I accidentally learned several tips to graduating on time with a PhD. Check out Part 1 of my tips here. Keep a Journal I downloaded a pregnancy app when I found out I was pregnant, and one of the first things it told me to do was start…

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