Like nearly everyone, most graduate students begin the new year with a resolution or two, usually academic goals to achieve over the course of the year. Here are some ideas for changes to make this year as well as advice for keeping them.
Resolution: Get Organized
How do you deal with the mounds of paper inherent to graduate life? Resolve to organize your space, your work, and your life. Keep your grad student space clutter free.
Resolution: Get a Handle on Time
Time is the most precious resource we have. Learn how to use your time more constructively with an academic calendar and to-do list. Simple time management tricks will help you keep this new year's resolution.
Resolution: Be Healthy
Two major contributors to health are diet and exercise. Grad students' hectic schedules (and lack of funds) pose challenges to this goal. However, with some planning and discipline you can eat healthily and exercise regularly.
Resolution: Balance Work and Family life
Make the time to learn how to balance work-life stress.
Resolution: Study Better
Develop better study habits. First, learn about your style of learning. Resolve to begin each semester on the right foot. Learn basic skills like how to take notes in class and how to read scholarly material.
Resolution: Set and Complete Goals
Set resolutions and some short and long-term goals this year, and make progress on them.
Resolution: Start Your Dissertation
It's the most intense piece of the doctoral degree. Don't let fear turn you into a permanent ABD (all but dissertation) student; start your dissertation. Select a dissertation committee and work through procrastination to write your diss.
Resolution: Prepare for an Academic Career
It's never to early to prepare for your career. Develop a realistic perspective of the academic job market by perusing academic job ads. Develop your teaching skills. Prepare your CV and tailor it to the position at hand. Construct your statement of teaching philosophy. Consider what questions you might be asked on an interview as well as what to ask.
Resolution: Learn About Alternative Careers
The academic job market isn't as scary once you learn about what else is out there. Graduate study imparts many useful skills that employers covet. Also rethink your definition of success - successful careers come in all shapes and sizes. Make this year the one that you lose your fear of leaving academia.
Resolution: Curb Your Stress
Don't let stress get the best of you this year. Learn how to cope with grad school stress.
Resolution: Have Fun
Don't let those graduate school years go by without having some fun. At the very least take some time for graduate student humor.