Transitioning from Undergrad to Grad School

As the spring semester comes to a close, you’ve probably decided which grad program you’ll attend in the fall and you’re probably wondering what you should do next.

As a student who just finished her first year of grad school, I still remember what it’s like to make that transition! It can be stressful, scary, and down-right nerve-wracking!

Here’s what I suggest to make the transition a little smoother…

Connect with Classmates

Once you choose your grad program, reach out to other students who were also accepted. Many schools offer student acceptance days, where you can connect with other students and learn more about the program. If you can attend, take the time to network with the other students in your cohort. Exchange phone numbers, connect with them on social media, and consider setting up a group chat or online group to stay connected.

Find an Apartment

Depending on how far away your new program is from home, you may or may not need a new place to live. If you need an apartment, begin your search early. Start by talking with other students in your program. Most likely, they’re also trying to find a place to live and might even need a roomie! Also check Google and other online postings for apartments near your school. Reach out to current students or read reviews online for suggestions.

Check Your Email

When you officially accept a position in your grad program, make sure to keep up with your personal and new school emails (even your old school email, if you used that during the application process). Your program will likely email you about next steps to enroll in classes, sign up for orientation, set up an online student portal, send final transcripts, and/or complete other paperwork. Check your email throughout the summer to make sure you’re not missing any important deadlines!

Get Organized

During your undergrad career, you may have been busy with courses and extracurricular activities—grad school will be a new experience! In addition to courses, you’ll likely start clinical work as well. And your coursework will likely be more demanding and take up more time to complete. Therefore, before entering grad school, find a time management and planning strategy that works best for you. Try new or different systems to find the best fit.

Save Your Notes

Save your notes and textbooks from your undergrad classes. You may not need all of them, but materials from certain foundational classes—like anatomy and physiology, phonetics, and language development—can be very helpful! I saved my notes and textbook from my clinical methods class, and I’ve consulted those materials more times than I can count when looking for evidenced-based interventions to use during my clinical practicums!

Starting grad school may seem overwhelming at first, but you were accepted for a reason. Now, it’s time to get excited!

Do you have any other tips for preparing for grad school? Comment below!

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