Are You Surviving?
Sometimes surviving grad school can feel like you are swimming in the deep end of a pool. It can be overwhelming and difficult.
If you are gearing up for grad school, or already plugging away, I want to share some tips so you can not only survive but thrive while there.
I Wish I Would Have Known…
Just like private practice, when I reflect back on my grad school experience, I realize I learned a lot of things the hard way.
In fact, it wasn’t until a while after graduating that I could reflect back and see what I wish I’d known before starting a psychology graduate program. I want to let others glean from what I have learned.
7 Tips for Surviving Grad School
There are honestly way more than 7 tips that I wish I had known before grad school, but these are my TOP tips based on my individual experience in grad school.
Keep in mind that every grad program is different and each person is unique as well. So these tips simply reflect what I wish I knew based on my individual experience.
- Who you are is your biggest asset
- Don’t worry about fitting into the mold of what you think the ideal therapist looks like; your uniqueness will make you the best therapist you can be!
- Grad school isn’t a race
- Work to make time for what you find important in life while you are in grad school. (Even if that means you go at a slower pace than others!)
- Create space for personal growth
- Prioritize self care
- While it is often countercultural to prioritize self care within many therapy environments, taking care of yourself can prevent burnout, anxiety or becoming cynical.
- You don’t have to know your specialty/theoretical orientation by the end of it (or at the beginning!)
- See your therapy grad training as an opportunity to explore your options and discover your interests. You have plenty of time to land on a specialty after you get out!
- Don’t give in to anxious culture
- Grad school can often glorify Type A perfectionism, but feel free to go against the grain! You will be just fine.
- Professors don’t always give great advice (they often give bad advice)
- Seek their advice, but take it with a grain of salt. They often share advice they wish they would have had, but it may not be the most helpful for you personally.
And that rounds off the top things I wish I had known before grad school! I hope these tips help you thrive during your grad school years.
Want More Insight?
If you are left wondering more about what grad school may be like, I have a video that dives deeper into what the experience of psychology grad school was like for me.
Or maybe you are trying to decide if you should get a masters or doctorate level psychology degree? This video shares why I wouldn’t get a doctorate degree if I started over.
Until next time, from one therapist to another: I wish you well!
Photo by Pixabay