Three Tips for Success in Grad School

Have you ever doubted being able to balance a graduate degree program with being a full-time working adult? We’re here with some tips to help you successfully navigate the waters of your graduate program.

A graduate student celebrates their success in front of a laptop computer at home.
Finding the right work-to-life balance when pursuing your higher education goals can be a challenge, but Embry-Riddle is here to help with a few tips and tricks for success.

Enrolling in graduate school is a big decision and the prospect can feel daunting to full-time working adults. And yes, it’s hard work; but the end of the journey offers huge possibilities – a promotion, a raise or perhaps finding your dream career. Let us help set you up for success with some tips that will enable you to approach your graduate program with confidence.

Time Management

Many graduate students are working professionals, often with families to consider as well. Time management becomes essential when balancing one’s professional and personal life with graduate studies.

Procrastination is the enemy of time management, so creating a schedule incorporating both professional, personal and educational commitments and deadlines will help you stay on task.

Consider when you feel the most energized and productive and schedule your schoolwork during that time of day. Additionally, all Embry-Riddle students have access to Microsoft Suite with great apps that can help you stay organized and on task.

Have a Support System

It is important to surround yourself with social and emotional support when embarking on your graduate school journey. There may come a time when you feel yourself struggling to keep up with the many tasks at hand. Perhaps the weight of work, life and school feels out of balance. That’s when a support system becomes critical to both your mental well-being and graduate school success. A support system can consist of family members, friends and even your fellow classmates and instructors.

If you don’t have a support system, create one! Reach out to your fellow students. It’s likely they understand what you're going through and may need support as well. And there is no one who wants to see you succeed more than your professors. Reach out to them at the first sign of struggle. They are there to support you on your academic journey and will guide you on the right path.

Embry-Riddle also provides other resources, such as personalized advising assistance, 24/7 technical support and eUnion, Embry-Riddle’s one-of-a-kind virtual community. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. If you need help, ask.

Be Kind to Yourself

It’s common for graduate students to take time off between getting their bachelor’s degree and beginning their master's program. You may feel nervous about getting back into the habit of studying and writing papers and begin to doubt your decision, but don’t. Those feelings are quite common and normal, but it’s important to remember that once you get into a routine, it will get easier.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Yes, you want that degree, but this is a process, and there are steps you need to take to reach your end goal. Take it one step at a time, one class at a time, one assignment at a time, setting small goals along the way to help you feel less overwhelmed.

Mark every milestone knowing you are that much closer to achieving your goal. Also, keep in mind that the knowledge you gain from your classes can be applied immediately to your professional career, and that alone is worth celebrating.