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Being successful in graduate school

The Graduate Student Association asked me to share some thoughts on being successful as a graduate student at Rice. Here are some ideas.

One way to help you think about graduate school and what it can do for you is to compare it with a gym membership: having one doesn’t guarantee that you are healthy, but if you use it wisely, it will help you get there. Another way is to think of graduate school as a multiplier of your efforts: the outcome of each unit you put in there gets amplified, but you have to provide the effort in the first place.

This is a general theme for these ideas: you are in charge. You get to decide what you’ll get out of your time as a graduate student. So be proactive, and make the most out of your experience.

This applies not just to your time in school but to your life in general. If this is the first year that you get to live on your own, ensure that you have a good hygiene of life, one that includes exercise, healthy food and sleep habits, and a social life.

Ideas for being successful in graduate school

Ideas for being successful in graduate school


Being a graduate student means that you will fail. A lot. Actually, that has nothing to do with being a graduate student, that has to do with being human. But the point is that you need to show resiliency—you need to bounce back from failure. In fact, embrace failure.

Finally, your relationship with your adviser is primordial: ensure you proactively manage it.