By Grace Troupe. Posted January 2, 2014.
Grad school can feel like a circus, so here are some strategies to make your life more manageable. And they're much easier than tight rope walking!
- Make a list of things you need to do on a dry erase board. The satisfaction of crossing something off a list is a reward in itself, and a dry erase board is a great way to keep tasks in one place that's easy to erase or add to. You can also number the tasks by how important they are, which will help you decide what to do next if you feel overwhelmed.
- Reward yourself. Allow yourself a break once you've completed a task. Maybe spend time with friends for a few minutes or watch TV to allow your brain to rest for a while. Snacks can also be a good reward, but be careful. Try eating something healthy such as almonds or fruit instead of junk food.
- Come out of hibernation. Get out from behind that computer screen or desk and walk around! Being productive gets harder the longer you don't rest your brain and activate your body. Go to the Rec Center on City Campus or walk around East Campus--it's beautiful! If the weather permits, work outside. Nothing can replace physical activity and Vitamin D for rejuvenating your body and brain.
- Put every appointment, meeting, and assignment in one place. Maybe you keep a calendar on your phone or computer or use a planner, but whatever you choose to do, put everything in one place. A great way to stay on top of long-term deadlines is to have a yearly planner with a monthly or weekly planner that you check regularly.
- Stay ahead of the game. Do homework and projects as promptly as you can as soon as school starts. As soon as you get behind a little bit it will be hard to catch up again. Try to determine how much time you have to spend on each class. This will help you plan your time later when things get really busy.
The main rule of thumb for managing your time and balancing your life is to plan ahead and stay organized. But most importantly, enjoy it!
- Program/level: 1st year Master's Student in Genetics and Plant Breeding with a teaching focus
- Hometown: Lincoln, NE
- Prior education: Plant Biology at UNL
- Leadership/professional orgs: Agronomy and Horticulture Graduate Student Association; Genetics, Crop Science, and Plant Science TA; Graduate Ambassador, 2 Pillars Church Volunteer
- Hobbies/interests: Public outreach, hospitality, meeting international students
- Things to know about me: Teaching is my passion. Every time I teach I feel full of energy and excitement.
- Fun facts: I got into my field in middle school by joining the Lincoln Iris Society and learning to hybridize flowers. As soon as I graduated high school I was adopted by the plant genetics lab of Dr. Brian Waters where I worked for 4 years. 4-H Clover Mint Ice cream at the UNL Dairy Store is my favorite flavor of all time.