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20 Tips for New Graduate Students

Bookshelf with labels reading, “All these books are donated by customers . . . Reading is always enjoyable.”

I’ve spent over 10 years in university, and I’ve been a graduate student for 6 years. What follows is a list of 20 tips for new graduate students, based on lessons I’ve learned the hard way in academia!

1) There’s always more work that could be done; you can’t – and shouldn’t – do it all. Protect your time for: exercise, relaxation, hobbies, and relationships. Take long lunch breaks and go for walks. Have fun with your colleagues.

2) Figure out when you get your best work done. Personally, I use mornings for deep work and afternoons for admin work (emails, scholarship searching, etc.)

3) Start your work day by reading and summarizing one paper related to your research. If you get nothing else done that day, you will have at least read one paper.

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Learning in Public

I’m using this website to practice writing and discussing ideas in public. Dr. Adrienne Keene (Twitter: @NativeApprops) shared a beautiful blog post called “On Consenting to Learn in Public” that I’ve been thinking about as I begin sharing more content online. The Internet is forever, but people can and do change. I am sure that my ideas will evolve over time. I look forward to learning and evolving in public with readers of these posts. For further discussion, I can be reached here.