What do you think are the most challenging aspects of adjusting to graduate studies and what advice would you offer a new grad student?
Adjusting to graduate studies as a new grad student, like adjusting to any new situation in life, can be challenging. Navigating the transition from student to scholar requires confidence, discipline, passion, curiosity, tenacity, and resilience. What each student finds most challenging, however, will vary based on their situation and personality, and may change as they progress through the key milestones of coursework, comps, research, and writing.
My advice as you begin this journey is this: never be afraid to ask questions or to seek help along the way! Ask your advisor about specific expectations. Ask your program director about milestones, deadlines, and funding. Look for opportunities for professional development and training. Talk honestly with your peers about the things you find exciting and frustrating about your work. Make friends with people outside your discipline to inspire new perspectives. And if you are struggling, don’t suffer in silence – find someone you trust and ask for help.
At Notre Dame, we have a rich constellation of services and resources to support the success and wellness of our graduate students. The links below are just a few:
Additionally, there are several helpful online resources for graduate students. I recommend: