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How to Survive Grad School & a Full-Time Job

I actually was not going to write a blog this week because I have SO MUCH HOMEWORK TO DO; however, I decided to write my blog anyway because I felt that this topic really speaks to a lot of working teachers (and working people) out there. There are some of you who aren’t sure if you want to enroll in grad school and have been delaying that application for months—years even!

I’m here to tell you that, YES, grad school is definitely hard work, BUT it is VERY POSSIBLE!

I have earned two masters degrees and am midway through my coursework for my doctorate. I have been a full time teacher while earning each degree. Once I graduate, I always reflect on how I was able to finish. Here are a few tips that have helped me survive all of my degrees and helps me power through my current degree.

#1. Make a friend! Find yourself a buddy who is in your cohort. I did! In fact, she recommended my next Coach’s Corner series! Find someone who shares similar goals as you and has a similar work ethic. Then lean on that person when you have to get through tough assignments, are confused about classwork, or just plain need some encouragement. Having a cohort buddy makes your life a lot easier!

#2: Organize your assignments. The first thing I always do is read my syllabus and look at the requirements and expectations for the course. I work full time—I can’t handle surprises! Once you know what your assignments will be and the professor’s expectations, you can begin planning the “how”. How will I get my reading done? How will I complete my assignments? What additional resources will I need? How will I complete assignments around personal business that I have?

#3: Get into a routine—and follow it! Find the time during your day when you will complete all of your tasks! Set days that you read. Set days that you complete specific assignments. Then stick to it!!! It’s VERY easy to fall SCARILY behind in grad school.

#4: Organize your materials. Print all of your readings and put them in a binder. Download all of your materials and save them to your computer in organized files. I have a folder for each program, each class, and each week of assignments. I keep everything! This has been a godsend for me when I needed to refer to another reading from another class or needed information for my teaching certificate. Organize everything and keep it somewhere safe!

#5: Be realistic. Don’t underestimate the power of an unassuming project! Don't push something off until the day before! Look over your assignments and get a good understanding of the actual components that must be completed.

#6: Keep your end goal in mind. Remember why you enrolled in your program. Think about how it will benefit you and the stakeholders with whom you interact. Your program will not last forever! You’ll be so excited and proud of yourself when you have that degree in your hands!

Well, I have to sign off because grad school is calling! I hope that you found these tips helpful! I’ll be back next week with tips about how the brain works.

If you haven’t checked out my YouTube channel, you can access it HERE!

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