As 2016 arrives, it brings a new year of experiences and opportunities. Although it seems like my graduate experience just started, the start of the new year means that it is my last semester as a graduate student and marks the beginning of my #SASearch path. As graduation approaches, I am excited to be nearly done with my graduate experience. This has been an amazing experience in my life to help prepare me for a professional experience in a field that I really enjoy. Despite the excitement that I have for earning a master’s degree, which was a lifelong goal, I am also really nervous for the stress of the year. For many graduating students, spring can be a stressful time. I want to share some tips for graduating members of the community to stay ahead while staying motivated.
Take everyday day by day
Remember to tackle your goals, issues, and assignments one step at time. Sometimes the journey to the end goal can seem very long and difficult; however, remember that you can make a difference by focusing on what you can do right now versus days, weeks, or months down the road.
Don’t stress about the future
As a passionate over-planner, professional worrier, and calendar king, I want to focus on worrying about only what I can control now. Yes, I plan to work endlessly on goals and try to make graduating, exams, and the job search a priority; however, it’s important to enjoy small victories and share fun moments with others. While you are grinding for success, make sure to take a break with friends, enjoy a movie, or just take some time to be grateful for something awesome in your life. Self-care is something that your future self will thank you for doing.
Find something great about each day and reflect on it
During this process, remember to look at the small steps to success you are taking. Did you apply for your first professional position? Give yourself a nice night of relaxation to celebrate. Is one goal crossed off your to do list? Great, you’re making strides to your goal. Are you feeling down? Make sure to do something fun to take your mind off your stress. Just remember that all will be okay and you have a support system of people that care about the amazing person that you are.
Use Your Support System
Sometimes stressful days can get us down and take away our motivation when we are busy working on an assignment, planning for conferences, prepping for interviews, or just stressed. Make sure to take time to tell your loved ones how you feel and express your feelings. It’s okay to call a friend, family member, or loved one and get a sense of motivation and support. Sharing how you feel with someone is important as talking to someone you love can turn a stressful moment around.
Follow Your Passions Endlessly
I am going to work on a final goal list for Spring 2016, including ways to remain happy during stressful moments. Some of these passions include leadership development, mentoring, video games, and reading that will help keep me motivated as I prepare for some major steps in my life. I encourage everyone to find a passion this semester (or goal) and make it happen as it will make your final semester relaxing during times where things can become busy.
And most importantly — remember that you make a difference.
Good luck to all graduating members of the #SAGrad community and remember to follow your own path to success. You can do it. Good luck and make your final chapter of graduate school memorable.