Along with being accepted into a graduate program comes so many false myths and hard-to-believe but tough-to-deny seemingly true realities. One of these ever-so-popular beliefs is that graduate school is all about work, work, and more work. Period. Why? Because you won’t have time for anything else. I am happy to inform you that this is far from the truth.
As a graduate or professional student, you quickly discover (hopefully…before you become a graduate student) that the expectations are many and the bar is extremely high for being successful. But in the midst of adjusting and wearing your scholar hat, remember to not lose yourself or the unique interests you have that make you who you are. Do what you love! Take up a hobby. A consistent one.
For instance, read some books outside of your discipline. *insert gasp here* I know, I know. Who has time to read outside of coursework right?! You do! Once you determine your schedule and get into the routine, figure out what is realistic for you. Join a book club! My friend and colleague created a Women of Color book club for women who are interested in reading different books and discussing them with other women of color. This is a structured way to do something that can be educational and fun while allowing you to network with other graduate students. Create a realistic goal for yourself. Maybe you want to read a book a month. Whatever works for you!
If reading is not your thing, choose something else like blogging, writing poetry, making jewelry or accessories, etc. The list goes on and on. Everyone needs an outlet or a release from their studies. Every so often, a mental break is necessary. And that’s ok! Spend some time doing a leisure activity that allows you to recharge, refuel, and refocus so that you can accomplish your goal of being a successful, well-rounded graduate student.