Why You Should Plan Ahead For Grad School

By on November 20, 2012

Sadly, way too many students consider graduate school as a fall back option. This means when their other options fall through they look at graduate school as just something they do while they try to figure out what they want to do with their lives. As we have mentioned in the previous blog posts, this is just a waste of resources and time, and could possibly be unfair to other more serious graduate school applicants. Be that as it may, this is the reality for quite a number of graduate school students. If you do fall into the camp of students that have always wanted to go to graduate school and look at it as your gateway to a possible career in academia or research then this post is for you. Learn how to plan ahead for graduate school.

Graduate school is just like any serious heavy duty endeavor that you will undertake in your life. It is not something to be taken lightly. There’s a lot of competition for precious graduate program spots and for you to fully enjoy the benefits that graduate school brings to the table you really have to prepare yourself. So, while you’re still in college follow these steps so you can fully prepare for graduate school;

STEP #1 Develop relationships with your professor. I’m not taking about sucking up or brown nosing or some other deuce bag behavior like that. I’m talking about just knowing your professor on a professional level. And figure out who they are and become their friends. Many professors are around the same age or maybe a decade or a couple of decades older than you. Don’t let age be a barrier to developing a potentially professional network. Hang out with your professor and just know them in a human level. This will open a lot of doors, at the most basic they can give you advice regarding graduate school in its most lucrative form they can champion your academic career. So, develop allies early on while you’re still getting your undergraduate degree.

STEP #2 Develop mentors. Your mentors don’t have to be your professors. They could be your graduate student teaching assistants. Regardless, you should identify some people that would give you advice regarding graduate school, what to expect, how to cope and how to do well in such a pressure field environment. The truth is, the more resources you have at this stage of the game the easier it will be for you. Compare yourself to would be graduate students that are really stabbing in the dark. Instead, you have everything well lit and figured out. So it’s just a matter of scoring well in the GRE for you to get into the graduate program that you’re aiming for.

STEP #3 Get your grades in order. If you have already made up your mind that you will be going to graduate school after college make sure your grades are in order. Make sure that you get good grades in all your classes. Make sure to drop problematic classes early on so they don’t harm your GPA. And also make arrangements to offset or fix any embarrassing grades that you get. We’re all human beings and we all catch failure from time to time that’s just part of being human. However, if you hit a road block and you don’t do anything about it and the pattern of failure continues this will seriously harm your graduate school admissions chances. To boost your chances of admission make sure that your transcripts read like there is an improvement after you hit a snag. Learn from your mistakes. Everybody makes a mistake from only a few learn from them. Be one of those few.

The bottom line, following these steps you are securing your spot in the graduate program of your choice. They may seem like a tall order now but an ounce of preparation is worth more than a pound of last minute cramming.

The prolific educational blogger, Chris Walker, wrote this guest post on behalf of the top source of graduate school personal statement examples on the Internet, http://www.ivyresearch.com.

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