• Communicating clearly and frequently with their mentors will ward off disastrous misunderstanding in the future
• Clearly defining goals for themselves and regularly evaluating their progress towards those goals.
• Practicing self-discipline. Students must set a schedule for themselves and stick to it in order to complete graduate-level work.
• Developing the tools of scholarly endeavor. Thinking critically and reading broadly provides students with a knowledge base. Good writing skills and practice writing proposals, papers and other scholarly documents helps them to communicate their work. Oral presentations develop speaking skills. Carefully planning and documenting of scholarly efforts aids in the publication process, later. Checking and re-checking details reduces the chances of error. Maintain a professional demeanor and appearance communicates that the student wants to be treated as a professional.
• Practicing productive work habits. Long hours do not necessarily equal productivity and can be a detriment to the personal relationships that graduate students need to sustain their long term efforts.
• Putting their work into the perspective of being one graduate student among many. Students who are prepared and in charge are more independent and less likely to be manipulated. They are surer of the relative importance of their own work. Successful students recognize the needs of others and develop outside interests or seek psychological counseling in order to manage the stress of graduate school.
• Planning for the future. Students should build a framework for a future career by attending national meetings and communicate with other scholars. Likewise, students should not view graduate school as the only career path option. Sometimes, switching schools or degree programs or pursuing other important opportunities is a viable and a valuable investment in the future.One of the most important things a graduate student can do is to have a fulfilling personal life. Success in life is not solely measured in publications or awards. A well-rounded graduate student who seizes opportunities to step back from their studies in order to maintain perspective will be able to navigate the frustrations of graduate school.
Before the fruit of prosperity can come, the storm of life need to first bring the required rains of testing, which mixes with seed of wisdom to produce a mature harvest!