Taking the Stress Out of Grad School

Right now, you’re probably stressing out about all the assignments you have due, or the fact that your grade isn’t an A. You’ve probably cried in the past week because you just feel—overloaded.

Grad school isn’t easy, but take it from me, there are things you can do to have a better experience!

Take Care of Yourself First

I can’t tell you how many times I sat in my car and cried, because I was stressed, tired, or both! My mind would never slow down. I went to sleep each night thinking about my to-do list. I woke up each morning thinking about what needed to get done that day. Every time I checked something off my list, something else would pop up.

It wasn’t until my second semester that I realized the importance of self-care. I needed time off!

From the moment I left school on Fridays until Saturday afternoons (sometimes even Sundays—crazy talk!), I tried to focus on something other than school. Whether it was catching up on a show I missed during the week or going to dinner with my family or friends, I gave myself time to enjoy my life.

Build Your Support System

During my first semester, I had no interest in bonding with my classmates. Not that I didn’t want to, but I felt like socializing took time away from my schoolwork and I might fall behind.

One of my classmates would ask me over and over again to go out to dinner with her and some others. I stressed over the decision to go. I only worried about missing out on time to study. But I finally agreed to go … and I REALLY enjoyed myself!

Taking the time to build these relationships made my grad experience so much more enjoyable. I gained study partners, a support system, and friendships that will last a lifetime!

Don’t Stress Over Grades

I struggled with a constant need to get As. But, I finally realized that we can only do so much in a short period of time. If I got a B instead of an A—it’d be ok. I was still going to pass, and GPAs aren’t reflected on diplomas!

Our sanity and health are more important than stressing over a grade. It’s kind of like the Praxis. No one else knows your score. The only thing that matters is that you pass.

If you are worried about a grade, talk to your professor. They’ve been in your shoes, and they want to see you succeed!

Fill Your Days with What You Love

If you’re thinking about getting a job during grad school, it’s totally do-able. I worked with our local early intervention program—about 10 hours each week. I enjoyed my job so much that I actually looked forward to going every day—no matter how much else I had going on.

So, find a job you enjoy—one that doesn’t add more stress to your already full plate. It can actually make your days better!

Focus on the Good

There may be times when it feels like you’ll never make it to graduation. Then, there are those amazing moments you have with a client that make you fall in love with the profession all over again.

Take time to care for yourself, enjoy time with your friends, relax, and focus on the good. The end is closer than you may think. Have faith in yourself. If I can do it, so can you!

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