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Tara Kuther, Ph.D.

Tara's Graduate School Blog


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Overwhelmed with End-of-the-Semester Tasks?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

I'll admit it: I'm completely overwhelmed with all that I have to do. My guess is that if you're a student you probably also feel at least a little overwhelmed. Many of us let our to-do lists get out of hand. By the end of the semester our to-do lists are not simply unwieldy, they're unhelpful. What do you do to get a handle on all of the many things that you have to do?

1. Make sure that your to-do list is complete.
This may seem counter-intuitive when you have a long list, but the first step in getting the important stuff done is surveying the field to determine what is important.

2. Determine what is most important right now.
Many of the items on your to-do list can wait until later, even after the semester ends. Others have deadlines that set important time constraints on task completion. Organize your list tasks by due date and importance.

3. Make choices.
Once you list all of your critical tasks you may find that you need to make choices about what to complete because it may not be possible to complete it all.

Learn more about simple strategies for managing your time

I find it helpful to engage in a modified version of this process daily. I list all that needs to be done. Then I consider what is essential. I look at how much time I can allot to completing the tasks and I decide which tasks to complete, to put on hold, or to ignore altogether. It's not easy and it requires a bit of self awareness and honesty to compile a realistic to-do list. I'm not always successful but it's a start.

What to Do After Rejection

Thursday April 17, 2014

Nearly every applicant to graduate school receives at least one rejection. Applicants who receive acceptance letters from some graduate programs receive rejection letters from other programs. Rejection stings. The first part of dealing with rejection is accepting it - feeling the pain. Then it is time to understand why rejection happens and to consider your next steps.

Also: Post-rejection: Learn how to improve your application

Tough Decisions: Where to Attend?

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Many students who are accepted to graduate school are surprised to find that the hardest part of applying to graduate school comes after acceptance: deciding where to attend. How do you choose a graduate program? How do you decide where to attend graduate school? Follow these tips on how to choose. In addition these suggestions intended for students who are wondering where to apply to graduate school can also help you weigh programs in making decisions on where to attend. The simplest piece of advice is to try to imagine what your life will look like at each place. Visualize your day-to-day life within each program and you may find it easier to choose.

Graduate School Admissions: How You Can Prep During Your Junior-Year (and Before!)

Thursday April 10, 2014

Survey the task at hand: Graduate school admissions is tough business. The process of getting into graduate school begins long before an application form is completed or an admissions essay drafted. The most successful students are mindful of their goal of getting into graduate school in mind throughout college. They seek out useful experiences early -- and are more likely to gain admission to graduate study. Here's what you can do as an undergraduate junior or even sophomore to advance towards your goal of gaining admission to graduate school.

How to Cram

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Don't plan on cramming. If you want to learn and remember material well past the exam date you must put time and effort into studying. Sometimes, however, you might find yourself with lots to learn and remember and very little time to do it. Here's a primer on how to cram


Need Help?

Wednesday April 2, 2014

The end of the semester is quickly approaching. Are you keeping your head above water? If not, what's hindering you? Take time to determine what you don't understand and fill in your knowledge gaps by asking questions of other students and professors. Sometimes it's not simply a matter of grasping material. Sometimes life gets in the way and you might find yourself behind in class and needing some real help. Here's how to talk to your professor.

Thinking about Becoming a Psychologist?

Sunday March 30, 2014

Then you have something in common with lots of applicants.  If you are really interested in psychology, you know that there are many choices for graduate study as there are many subfields within psychology. Your first step is to choose among them. Clinical psychology tends to be the most popular choice. If that is true for you, your job is to learn about how you can enhance your application to this very competitive field and improve your odds of gaining admission to clinical psychology programs. Learn about the difference between the PhD and PsyD, common training models in clinical and counseling psychology, and how to tell if the PsyD is for you.

Frustrated Students, Frustrated Faculty

Thursday March 27, 2014

The relationship between student and mentor waxes and wanes over the graduate school years. Sometimes it's very fragile and frustrating, but your relationships with faculty are critical to your professional development.

Many students don't realize that a huge part of graduate education is socialization. Faculty socialize students, replicating themselves professionally. Student-faculty relationships may become close but remember that you are never on equal footing. Take care in what you express and how you express it. Become aware of and respect faculty boundaries


Tuesday March 25, 2014

A graduate applicant opens the email from the admissions office to see that he has not been accepted. But he has not been rejected, either. What is the grad school limbo known as the wait list?

What to Do When Crisis Strikes

Thursday March 20, 2014

Professors hear lots of excuses for students' lack of preparation. Yet, bad stuff happens to all of us at least sometimes.

Serious crises, like illnesses and deaths, interfere with our ability to function as students and scholars. Smaller crises - break ups, colds and flu, and arguments with family and friends - also take a toll on our capacities. Advisors, faculty, and employers understand that crises, especially serious ones, impair your work. However, recognize that understanding will only go so far when you have work due.  So what do you do when you're in crisis?

1. Focus on the crisis (briefly). Take the time away from your work to deal with issues and manage as best you can.

2. Don't take too long. After a day or two, devise a plan for what needs to get done and how you will do it.

3. Choose your tasks carefully. Remember that you don't have to do it all - at least not yet. Decide which tasks are essential and do those.

4. If you've missed classes, figure out what you've missed and how to learn the material.

5. Get help from your professor.

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