I am in my final semester of my graduate career as a Mass Communication student here at Texas State. It’s amazing to be able to look back at my graduate career and see all the skills I have developed through the past couple of years. When you have semesters full of multiple research papers and projects, it’s very easy to get caught up and carried away. Time management is a skill that is absolutely necessary when trying to keep up with all the work that goes along with graduate studies, especially when you are balancing a social life and working at the same time.
I could sit here and list all the time management skills, such as planning, setting a routine, and prioritizing your assignments that you need in order to make yourself a more productive student. However, most of you are aware of these techniques and employ them daily. If you’re not, a simple Google search will give you plenty of suggestions on what to DO when trying to manage your time better. You rarely see things about what you should not do.
My biggest “don’t” for you as a graduate student is don’t overreach: You will be tempted to say yes to everything that comes along. Opportunities that you think shouldn’t be passed up. Remember time is finite and you don’t have an unlimited supply. Everyone needs “me” time. Do not be afraid to take it. If you fill up your schedule to the max and leave no time for yourself, it could backfire and actually make you less productive.
Don’t be a hero: This is a HUGE thing to remember. You are only one person. There are some things that you are going to need help with. Be willing to ask for help when you are feeling overloaded. You will tend to get stuck in this cycle of being in your own headspace and not being able to get out. A second pair of eyes might help you see things more clearly. Even Batman had Robin!
Don’t stress out: Letting your emotions get the best of you is dangerous, and often counterproductive. Stressing out and breaking down takes a lot of brainpower and time. If you control your emotions and stay calm, your tasks will go by smoother and quicker than you anticipated.