Apr 03 2023

Surviving Graduate School: Insights from PhD Students and Recent Graduates


PhD Sharing

Graduate school can be a daunting experience for many students pursuing their Ph.D. It is a time when they are challenged to think critically and conduct research that contributes to their field of study. However, graduate school is also a time when students can develop new skills, meet new people, and create lifelong connections. In this blog post, we will provide insights from Ph.D. students and recent graduates on how to survive and thrive in graduate school.

Managing Time

Time management is a critical aspect of graduate school. Balancing coursework, research, and personal life can be overwhelming. To manage time effectively, Ph.D. students suggest creating a schedule that prioritizes tasks. It is also helpful to break down larger projects into smaller, manageable tasks. Another tip is to use productivity tools such as Pomodoro or Forest to increase focus and productivity.

Staying Motivated

Graduate school can be a long and challenging journey. It is important to stay motivated throughout the process. Ph.D. students suggest setting realistic goals and celebrating small victories. It is also helpful to stay connected with peers and mentors who can provide support and guidance. Additionally, taking breaks and engaging in activities outside of graduate school can help alleviate stress and promote mental well-being.

Balancing Research with Personal Life

Graduate school can be all-consuming, but it is essential to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Ph.D. students suggest setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care. It is important to make time for hobbies, exercise, and spending time with loved ones. Additionally, seeking out counseling or therapy services can be helpful in managing stress and anxiety.

Seeking Support

Graduate school can be a challenging experience, but it is important to seek out support when needed. Ph.D. students suggest building relationships with peers, mentors, and faculty members. They can provide guidance and support throughout the graduate school journey. Additionally, seeking out resources such as writing centers, research librarians, and career services can be helpful in navigating graduate school.

Networking and Professional Development

Graduate school provides opportunities for networking and professional development. Ph.D. students suggest attending conferences, workshops, and seminars to connect with peers and learn about new research in their field. Additionally, seeking out opportunities for teaching and publishing can enhance their professional development and prepare them for future careers.



Graduate school is a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the insights and advice provided by Ph.D. students and recent graduates, students can develop strategies to succeed and thrive in graduate school. Time management, staying motivated, balancing research with personal life, seeking support, and networking and professional development are all critical components of graduate school success. With these insights, students can gain a better understanding of what it takes to survive and thrive in graduate school.

Tags: Graduate School, PhD, Surviving, Insights, Tips, Advice, Recent Graduates