11 Expert Tips to Help You Survive Grad School

It’s 2023, and a Bachelor’s degree is seen as being equivalent to a high school diploma. So, you find yourself looking for ways to get a leg up on the competition and set yourself apart from the rest.

Next thing you know, you’re considering grad school. At first, it’s just an idea, then you find yourself in night school wondering, will this ever end?  

Well, it will. And we have some tips to help you through those moments when you think it’s time to throw in the towel.

Get Involved

Participating in classroom discussions can greatly enhance your learning experience. When you actively relate the coursework to real-world scenarios and draw from your own experiences, you gain a better understanding of the material.

Additionally, engaging in discussions encourages your classmates to share their perspectives, creating a more interactive and enjoyable learning environment.

2. The Closer, The Better

Believe it or not, where you sit in the classroom can have a significant impact on your focus and engagement. Sitting near the front can help minimize distractions and increase your ability to listen attentively, especially after a long day of work.

By positioning yourself away from potential distractions like social media or online shopping, you can maintain your concentration and make the most of your learning experience.

3. It’s All About Balance

Balancing a full-time job while pursuing a graduate degree requires careful time management. Take advantage of professors’ weekly breakdowns of the coursework to stay ahead of schedule.

Use weekends to get a head start on assignments and projects, lightening your workload during the week. This proactive approach will help you manage your time effectively and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

4. Technology is Your Friend

Electronic textbooks may not be your first choice, but they offer undeniable benefits. Using features such as “ctrl + f” to search for specific information in PDFs can save you hours of scrolling through pages.

Taking notes digitally and utilizing search functions to find relevant information quickly can significantly improve your efficiency. And when you’re juggling a full-time job and attending school, every hour saved counts.

5. Practice What You Learn

Make the most of your education by applying what you learn to your job, even in small ways. Whether it’s mastering a new Excel formula or implementing a new strategy, practice will help you retain information and enhance your skills.

Your growing proficiency may even impress your boss and open up new opportunities for career advancement.

6. Be Present

Attendance is crucial in grad school, as programs are often fast-paced and packed with essential material. Attending lectures and participating in in-class discussions provide invaluable insights that can’t be fully captured through self-study.

Make a committed effort to be present, as these opportunities for face-to-face learning will enrich your understanding and deepen your knowledge.

7. Make Connections

Building professional connections is key to your future success. Take the initiative to connect with your classmates, as these relationships may lead to unforeseen opportunities down the road.

Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals pursuing similar goals can provide a support network and potential job referrals. Investing in meaningful connections during grad school can have long-lasting benefits in your career.

8. Get a Mentor

Your professors possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. Don’t hesitate to engage with them beyond the classroom. Many are willing to provide mentorship and guidance, offering career advice based on their expertise.

Developing a mentor-mentee relationship can bring clarity to your professional decisions and offer you valuable insights from a seasoned perspective.

9. Shop Around

Before committing to a graduate program, explore different schools and compare their curriculum offerings. Make sure to consider the cost, since eligibility for the Pell Grant no longer applies at the graduate level.

Evaluating the quality and return on your investment will help you make an informed decision and ensure you get the best education for your money.

10. Study

Studying in grad school demands a higher level of commitment compared to undergraduate programs. With stricter GPA requirements, it’s essential to prioritize your studies and fully grasp the material.

If you find yourself struggling, consider forming study groups with classmates to share knowledge and support one another. Having a support system during challenging times can be invaluable when balancing work, family, and your education.


Graduate school can be tough and stressful, pushing you to the limits of your abilities. However, perseverance is key. Remember, it’s all worth it in the end. Although there may be times when you feel like giving up, stay focused on your goals and keep pushing forward.

Embrace the challenges as opportunities for personal and professional growth. One day, you’ll reap the rewards of your dedication and hard work.


In conclusion, pursuing a graduate degree can be an exciting and challenging endeavor. By following these 11 tips, you can navigate grad school successfully, setting yourself apart from the competition and maximizing your potential.

Remember, the decision to pursue further education is an investment in your future. Embrace the journey and let it propel you towards a fulfilling and rewarding career. You’ve got this!

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