So today I had the pleasure of meeting up with a potential research adviser before school starts and I learned a couple of things from my experience (and from the mouth’s of grad students).
1. Start early! (Part one)
So, chances are you will be moving closer to your grad school to start a true adult life! Hooray! I would advice moving a few weeks before the actual orientation/start date so that you can get your life in order before diving into the chaos that is grad school. I personally moved in a month before hand and bought all the major pieces of furniture and such… Major load off my mind. Who wants to juggle moving in, buying furniture, being an adult and transitioning to grad school all at the same time?
2. Start early! (Part Two)
Wait, but didn’t you just…
Ah, but this isn’t about moving, young grasshopper. Rather, start early on trying to narrow down your possible research groups and visiting them. This gives you a good chance to not only make you look good by being an over achiever, but it also allows you to mingle with grad students that are much wiser than you are.
For instance, today I met with a research adviser and got to know a bit more about the research topics he works with and what science I should brush up on. However, probably the most important part was being thrown into a room with his grad students and firing off questions that probably wouldn’t have been answered otherwise.
3. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions
After I got back and realized how much information I got by just asking a few simple questions to a small handful of people, I fired off a couple of emails to people I knew to ask even more questions.
I don’t know about you, but for me, this is perhaps the most nerve-wracking part because I have this thing where I feel people will think I’m stupid for asking questions, but that’s not true at all! Most of the time, both grad students and professors would be more than willing to help you out because they were you once and they remember how it feels. 🙂 So use your resources and ask whatever comes to mind, even if you don’t feel it’s that important!
Hope this helps! Let’s learn together!
❤ Happy Transitioning!