Everyone knows that the first year of college is overwhelming especially if you are an international student. The pressure of new responsibilities, living independently in a new country, and adapting to a new social circle can all be challenging for any student. Luckily, by planning ahead and monitoring your individual needs, you can make it through your master’s program with a minimum of stress and an accelerated degree completion date. If you’re about to start your Master’s in any field, this article will help you establish a smooth transition into the program. Keep reading to find out how to make the most of your time at school—and how to avoid those pitfalls that so many other undergraduates experience.
Create a study schedule
When you’re a college student, you’re often expected to put in a certain amount of time studying every day. But that expectation doesn’t really exist during your first year of grad school. You’ll likely have a general idea of the topics you’ll be covering during your master’s program, but it’s unlikely that you’ll have a set course load. So, it’s up to you to create a schedule that you can stick to. There are a few ways you can do this. If you know what field you want to go into, you could find online resources that provide sample schedules for different degree programs. You could also talk to other students in your program to see how they’re managing their time. And remember that every person’s learning style is different, so you might need to experiment a bit before you find a schedule that works for you.
Find the best place to learn (and stick to it)
Finding the perfect place to study is essential to your academic success. Some people are able to sit at home and focus—while others are better off in a bustling coffee shop. You might prefer a quiet library study space or a spot on a park bench with a few squirrels for company. You could even prefer a classroom setting. The key is to find a spot where you can focus and thrive. Keep in mind that studying at home will involve more distractions than studying at school. You’ll be much more tempted to leave your studies to go to the kitchen for snacks or to the couch for a Netflix binge. At school, you’re more likely to skip out on distractions (although this is up to you to avoid distractions).
Take care of your physical and mental health
It’s easy to fall into a routine of skipping the gym to focus on your studies. You’re probably spending a lot of time at school, and you may find it easier to get your workout in at home than to fit it into your busy schedule. But it’s important to remember that your physical health is just as important as your academic health. Physical health is tied to both your mental health and your academic success. Your mental health is tied to your physical health, and your physical health is tied to your mental health. If you want to achieve your best academically, you’re going to need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, hydration, and exercise. You don’t have to be the strongest, fastest, or healthiest person in the world. But you do need to be healthy enough to attend class, do your assignments, and participate in social and extracurricular activities. So, don’t skip the gym—or the sleep or water—to focus on your studies.
Don’t skimp on food and sleep
You’ll definitely want to eat enough to maintain your health and avoid skimping on sleep, but there’s a difference between eating nutritiously and eating what you want. Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand so you don’t find yourself hungry and unable to focus during important study times. The same goes for sleep. You don’t have to sleep eight hours every night, but you do need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re only getting a couple of hours of sleep per night, you’re going to be exhausted, which means you’re going to be less focused and will not be able to learn or understand anything. So, make sure you’re not skimping on food. Your body needs nutrients and rest to function, and it needs energy to power through the day. If you’re hungry, sleep-deprived and tired, you’re going to be less able to participate in class, be productive, and learn.
Bring the same attitude you had in undergrad
You may have been excited about your undergraduate studies, or you may have dreaded the entire experience. Either way, though, graduation is just around the corner. You may feel excited to finish the program, or you may feel dread at the thought of all that work. There’s one thing you should keep in mind, though: the same attitude you had in undergrad should apply to your master’s program, too. If you were excited during undergrad, you should be excited about grad school, too. If you dreaded your undergraduate studies, don’t dread your master’s program. Keep in mind that both programs are designed to challenge you and to make you a better student and future professional. You can succeed at both, so long as you keep your attitude in mind.
The first year of college is often the most challenging time for a student, but surviving it can make the rest of your degree much easier. The best way to survive is to make sure you get enough sleep, eat enough food, and have regular social interaction with other people. It’s also helpful to create a study schedule, find a good study environment, and manage your time wisely.