Monday, February 06, 2012

Guest Post: Erin @

As y'all know, I struggle immensely with balancing life outside of grad school as evidence by this post so when Erin @ contacted me recently in regards to writing a guest post for the 'Burb, I immediately thought, "Absolutely!" Then, of course, life got in the way and it took me about three weeks to post the article she graciously took the time to write but after a week like last, I am using her helpful tips to manage this week's school/life balance a little better... especially tip #2... and #5.. and #6... and #7.. and #8. Without further adieu... 

Helpful Tips for Managing Life and Grad School

Grad school is stressful enough on its own, but all grad students have a life to handle as well. If you have roommates, a spouse, or a family, managing your time effectively becomes even more important. Here are some helpful tips for managing your life while in grad school.

1. Keep in contact with old professors. Just because you’ve left your undergraduate institution doesn’t mean you have to stop talking to your old professors. They can offer you recommendations for fellowships and jobs, as well as moral support when you’re stressed – after all, they’ve been to grad school too!
2. Know your workload. Between classes, reading, and research, grad school can be very time-consuming. Ask professors and current students how much time they devote to their studies. Can you handle the same amount of time, or even more, with your current lifestyle?
3. Set a budget. Make sure you are set financially for your full time in grad school. Whether this means saving up money or applying for financial aid and scholarships, you need to have a plan before you start classes. Perhaps this means a part-time job or taking on student loans.
4. Choose transportation wisely. If you plan on taking public transportation, look into getting monthly passes and student discounts. Some programs even cover transportation costs for students. If you want something more reliable, having your own vehicle will save you time, but it will cost more for gas, insurance, and parking.
5. Work now, play later. Many beginning grad students don’t realize that their workload will be far greater than what they had as an undergrad. If you want to prioritize your education, you should plan to give up some (but not all!) recreation and entertainment while you’re in school.
6. Have a support system. Grad school can be quite stressful at times, so it helps to have a trusted support system of friends and family. They will emotionally support you but also respect that you’ll need more time on your own for studying.
7. Make a schedule. Having a schedule is an easy way to organize your study time, especially if you live with others. Post your schedule where everyone can see it so that they know when it’s best not to disturb you – unless there’s an emergency. Even if you live on your own, setting a schedule will help you stay committed to your studies.
8. Be active. Everyone needs a break, especially from sitting and staring at a book or computer for hours on end. Exercising regularly will help you relieve stress from grad school and give you energy to dive back into your studies. 

Thanks, Erin! For more information on getting a Master's Degree in Nursing, check out Erin's website @

1 comment:

Nurse and Hospital Stories said...

Love the last tip. Being active indeed will lessen any boredom and even weariness we may feel during grad school. These are very helpful tips, eh.

Thanks for sharing,
Peny@nurse scrubs