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motivationalmonday

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Achievable Resolutions for the New Year

December 31, 2018

As yet another year comes to a close, it is time to reflect on and remember the last 12 months. You remember your milestones, your proudest achievements, and probably a few failures. Think back to December 31st of last year… Did you make any resolutions? Did you stick to them? Did your goals shift as the year went on? The answer is probably yes to all of those things and that’s okay! Life is all about how you handle Plan B, but it’s nice to have some ideas in mind for how you want things to go. Here are a few simple and achievable goals you can set for yourself in the new year!

Train For And Run A Race

Whether this means a 5K or a full marathon, training for/running a race for distance is a huge accomplishment no matter your age. There are so many different programs you can follow to cross that finish line and get that medal; not to mention running is a great mind-numbing activity that helps relieve a lot of stress for college students. Try a Couch to 5k plan or even a marathon schedule if you’re feeling adventurous! Also, so many races are fun and exciting! For example, there are Monster Runs, winery races, and of course the Rock’n’Roll Series! Remember, running is 80% mental and 20% physical. If you think you can, you’re right; if you think you can’t, you’re right.

Read More

Reading more is both simple and beneficial. It doesn’t matter if you are reading the next great American novel or the newest Marvel comic, as long as you are giving your brain a new kind of workout. Heck, even turn on the subtitles of the current video game you are playing for a different twist. I’d recommend doing the first resolution in tandem with this one and downloading audiobooks! Get yourself something you want to read/learn more about, download the audiobook, then only listen to it when you are training! Believe it or not, this helps a lot. It’s a win/win for you to workout your brain and your body! We suggest some of these books for college student reading.

Join A New Club

This one can be a bit daunting to those who are not keen on social events, but it is basic enough that anyone can do it. Everyone has hobbies right? Why not join a group of people who have the same hobbies as you! Universities have dozens of clubs and organizations of all kinds for students to take part in. Don’t be afraid to join a club for a hobby that is not currently active for you either; maybe you will find a new passion to join you in the new year.

Vow To Do Something More Or Better

Here I am referring to just making simple notes to do something a little more or a little better. For example, doing the dishes or keeping your apartment clean. Vowing to spend more time with your friends and less time watching Netflix by yourself. Maybe you want to rekindle a relationship with an old friend or family member. Anything that is going to just be something you can improve on or do more of which you think is going to help you within your daily life.

The key here is to set yourself up for success and set obtainable goals and not ones that are so far out there that you won’t stand a snowballs chance in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks of accomplishing. Always remember that this is a new year and you never know what is coming for you! Stay happy, healthy, and safe with these tips from GradGuard to set some new resolutions.

Other Transition

How to be a Successful Freshman

December 17, 2018

Heading off to college or university is exciting, but it can also be stressful. After all, for most people, it’s the first time they’ve ever lived away from home, and they’re under a huge amount of pressure to get good grades and be rewarded the big investment it takes to study.

But how exactly can freshmen make the most of their time at college and survive their first year? And better yet, how can they not just survive but thrive? Here are just a few of the best tips to help freshmen to make the most of their time at college.

Take Responsibility

When you’re at college, you have no parents or siblings around to make sure that you get up and go to lectures. Instead, you need to take responsibility for yourself and force yourself to get up, to show up and to study.

Help Is On Hand

Just because you’re not surrounded by your friends and family, doesn’t mean that you don’t have any backup. The vast majority of colleges and universities provide support for their students for everything from mental health issues to laundry, cleaning, childcare and more. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these services if they’re offered to you.

Nothing Is Set In Stone

The worst thing that you can do as a college student is to force yourself to keep studying a subject that you’re not enjoying. The good news is that when you’re a freshman, it’s not too difficult to change your major – but it gets more and more difficult the longer you wait.

Luxuries Are Luxuries

When you’re living away from home for the first time, it can be tempting to take all of your belongings with you and to spend money as though there’s no tomorrow. The problem is that life as a student isn’t a life of luxury, and it’s often best to save money where possible and to get used to living a more simple life, with less “stuff” and fewer luxuries.

Exercise Is Important

The phrase “Freshman 15” exists because most people put on weight when they first head off to college. You can combat this by exercising regularly, and it’s also a good idea to work out because it can help you to sleep and even to combat mental health issues. If you take care of your body, it’ll help you to take care of your mind.

When we head off to college to further our education, it’s one of the most exciting times in our lives. At the same time, there’s more to college than partying and socializing, and if you want to make the most of your freshman year then you need to put some effort in and go out of your way to make the year a success. With a bit of luck, the tips in this article and remembering GradGuard will help you to accomplish that.

Peter Hill is the best editor of BestEssayTips. He is a socially active person, likes traveling and photo/video editing. He finds himself in writing. Feel free to contact him on Google+.

Other Student Life

4 Motivational Commencement Speeches to Get You Through Finals Week

December 10, 2018

As college students, there is one day that everyone universally looks to; graduation day. The day where you finally get to leave those history papers, group projects, and exams behind to start your life in the real world. What you’re not told, is that everyone is going to take that culture shock differently, and maybe your last set of inspiration before you leave for good is that final speech given by your commencement speaker. We’ve put together a few of our favorite college graduation commencement speeches to get you excited and hyped up for that new chapter of your life.

Ben Nemtin, University of Utah 2018

Holy cow. This speech is one of the most impactful addresses to come out of college commencement. Ben Nemtin is known for a show that was on MTV a while back called The Buried Life. Almost 10 years ago, he and 3 of his hometown friends came together on a whim to make a movie about crossing things off of their far-fetched “buried” lists. They left their jobs and lives in Canada, got a contract with MTV, and hit the road. As they crossed off items one by one, they helped strangers cross items off of their own lists. They began with 100 items on that list and now only 9 remain. They’ve accomplished things such as playing basketball with President Obama, escaping from a desert island, and writing a New York Times best-selling novel. Regardless of your place in life, this is commencement speech you NEED to watch.

Admiral William H. McRaven, University of Texas – Austin 2014

If you are at all currently in the military, came from a military family, or have interested in entering the military, this is a great speech for you. Though it does speak to everyone. Through countless experiences and words of wisdom, he talks about the simple things that happen day to day that can change the lives of those around you. He gives the 10 lessons that he learned in his basic Navy Seals training that helped him change his outlook on life and to move forward to change the world. Simply put, make your bed and thank me later.

Will Ferrell, University of Southern California 2017

Those first two were a little on the serious side, how about something a little more lighthearted? Will Ferrell’s address tells us about his times at USC, how he has earned his honorary doctorate degree, and how he became the comedic actor that he’s known as today. He goes on about how, though he was scared while going through those times, he was more scared of the “what if” statement if he did not try. Will talks about how he spent much of the beginning of his career “throwing darts at a dartboard hoping that one of them would stick,” but how most of his success stems from his family and giving back to the community. “Trust your gut, keep throwing darts at the dartboard, don’t listen to the critics, and you will figure it out.”

Shonda Rhimes, Dartmouth College 2014

Shonda. Rhimes. Does more really need to be said? Before her thriving career as a TV writer for popular shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, and Private Practice, and staple movies like The Princess Diaries, she was a dreamer at Dartmouth College back in 1991. She was hungover on her graduation day because she was grieving the loss of her college years and was nowhere near excited about entering adulthood. She speaks of doing and not dreaming, and what it takes to be a strong single mother in addition to a successful career woman. Shonda gives you advice in a very real way and explains that anyone who tells you that they are perfect in life is lying to you; that it’s okay to lie on the floor of your dorm room and cry because you do not know what comes next. If this speech doesn’t give you the same emotions as an episode of Grey’s does, then you need to watch it again.

 

Next time you are feeling down and need something to pick you up or make you feel like you are not alone with what you are going through in your life, remember that these speeches will have your back; much like GradGuard when it comes to protecting your investment in higher education.

Other Student Life

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Motivation to Study

December 3, 2018

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Motivation to Study

Motivation is a well-known problem that many students experience, but most don’t know how to motivate themselves.

Students not only struggle with motivation to study and excel academically but, according to Delta Discovery, 69% of them drop out of colleges because of lack of motivation. This statistic shows how serious this problem is and urges us to find immediate solutions.

Luckily, there are some tips you can follow to boost your motivation to study. They are easy to follow and take little to no time, which is perfect for high-school or college students, who are always in a rush.

So here are top 5 ways to boost your motivation to study.

  1. Organize a Studying Space

According to a study performed by Harvard University, students who study in a clutter-free workplace are able to work 7.5 minutes longer. So, before you start with your assignments, find some time to tidy up your desk or any other space you’ll work in.

Multiple studies have proven the connection between clutter and stress. Your desk is the place where you spend most of your time studying, so you need to make it as tidy as possible. You’ll see how fast it will help you think more clearly and make you more motivated to study.

Tip! If you don’t have time to de-clutter, go to a place where you can concentrate, like your school library. It’s always quiet and peaceful, and the workspace is clutter-free.

  1. Eliminate Distractions

Procrastination is how our brain reacts to irritants such as stressful situations, however, it can be difficult to break the habit of constant procrastination.

Psychology Today singles out 5 major reasons why we procrastinate:

  • No structure. If there’s no direction, it’s hard to concentrate. To be productive, your brain needs elaborate steps to follow.
  • Unpleasant or boring tasks. Unpleasant tasks can unwillingly force us to procrastinate.
  • Lack of vision of the result. If you can’t envision being rewarded for performing the task, you’re more likely to delay doing it.
  • Feeling of anxiety. Fear of failure is a real reason why people procrastinate. Knowing that you’ve done everything you could to achieve the best result will help you feel more confident.
  • Weak self-confidence. The same as with the previous reason, weak self-confidence causes the feeling of being unworthy or fear of failure.

Tip! To avoid procrastination and find the motivation to study, you can use different smartphone or browser apps, like Tomato Timer, based on Pomodoro technique, as well as Forest app to help you concentrate.

  1. Imagine the Result

Several years ago, there was a real buzz around the visualization technique. The movie called “The Secret” had so many supporters and haters that everyone got interested, whether the power of visualization actually works.

A study by Texas State University, performed on athletes, has shown that 51% of participants improved their free throw after visualizing the successful results, which is a very impressive statistic.

Tip! Take 5 minutes before you start studying, take a comfortable position in a chair or lay down, close your eyes and start imagining the successful results of your work. You’ll feel more motivated right away.

  1. Take a Power Nap

Taking a nap before studying can help you feel refreshed and motivated. A report posted by NBC News shows that a short nap before working/studying results in an immediate alertness and increased cognitive performance for almost 3 hours.

Tip! You can combine your power naps with guided meditations. Downloading apps like Headspace or Calm can help you put your mind to rest and have a power nap to recharge and get motivated.

  1. Exercise

It’s also a well-known fact that exercising can help your body recharge and get energized. A quick workout can help you get motivated immediately. Your brain gets filled with oxygen, which helps you think clearly.

Tip! Try a simple 7 to 10-minute workout to get motivated quickly.

 

Motivation is Easy to Find

The only thing you need is persistence and desire to find it. Hopefully, the tips mentioned in this article will help you get energized and motivated to achieve success in studying.

 

BIO

Tom Jager is a professional blogger. He works at A-writer.  He has a degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+  or  Facebook.

Other Transition

College Students Over 25, is it Too Late?

November 26, 2018

When we think of college, we can often think of young people at the cusp of late teen years and early adulthood. With many lifestyle changes happening today, more and more adults are going back to college or even starting school in later adulthood. This means older students who often have full-time jobs, life experience, and even children of their own are attending college. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, as of March 2018, more than one-third of college students are currently over 25 years of age. With such an increase in numbers, more and more colleges and universities are providing resources for older students.

The Primary Concern of Cost

College and financial aid tend to go hand in hand. For many older college students past the “traditional” college age of 18-22, resources such as parents or high school scholarships like Bright Futures are not available to them. Fortunately, there are many other financial options out there for non-traditional students. For older college students who work, many companies offer full or partial tuition reimbursement upon successful completion of their courses. Some states offer state scholarships for non-traditional students. Loans are another option, and some lenders offer flexible payment plans for students.

Fitting College into a Busy Schedule

Returning students or students beginning college may feel some apprehension balancing busy lives with academic workloads. For older students with established jobs, careers, families, and other commitments, they may feel they don’t have adequate time for college and might ask younger students to help them with their homework. With this in mind, many colleges and universities have created supportive programs and assistance specifically geared toward these students. More institutions offer night courses for those who have full-time jobs as well. Some schools even have weekend options and most offer online courses. Online classes can be very effective and offer useful tools for students including webcasts, tutorials, and discussion boards.

Life as an older college student can be fulfilling and exciting. Aside from the normal concerns such as time and cost; college has many benefits. From those seeking to expand their education and land a more promising career, to those starting out for the first time ten or twenty years past the “traditional” age of college students, the benefits of attending school are significant. Older students can pace themselves while they are in college. Unlike their younger peers, older students may be established enough that they can take fewer courses at a time and still work toward their degree at a more suitable pace (Lumina).

Having passed the traditional college age, many older college students are actually able to appreciate, truly absorb, and instantly apply their college knowledge to their lives, which can make the journey even more rewarding. With more and more students either returning or beginning college later in life, a new wave of experienced and professional students is emerging. There is such a bright turnout and many agree that it is never too late to go to college.

If you do decide to go back to college, know that GradGuard has you covered with both insurance and all your need-to-know hacks.

 

BIO

Christine is a professional essay writer who writes on several different subjects. Due to her experience with essay writing, she has helped many people land their difficult tasks doing what she loves.

Other Student Life

Everything You Need to Know About Assessment Days

November 19, 2018

Being invited to an assessment center can be scary because you don’t know how your day will unfold or what kind of tests you have to go through. Assessment days are being used more often in the graduate recruitment process to simulate the kind of activities that applicants would be doing once they get hired. They are an effective way to assess the suitability of candidates because they are much more accurate than a single interview.

The activities undertaken during an assessment day will vary depending on the specific employer and the job role being filled.

The day usually follows a similar structure to this:

Introduction

When you arrive, you may listen to a presentation about the company from a member of the management team or a key person connected with the business. Listen carefully to the information you are provided in this session as you may be asked to use it later in the day.

Icebreaker

An icebreaker activity usually follows, and this is designed to ease your nerves and will be an opportunity to introduce yourself and learn about the other candidates. Just a tip: participate enthusiastically during icebreakers and show genuine interest in fellow candidates.

Aptitude and/or Psychometric Test

These tests are a crucial part of the selection process. Even if you have already taken one or more aptitude tests earlier in the recruitment process, you may be asked to re-take them. Aptitude and/or psychometric tests are statistically examined, are unbiased and have the ability to accurately predict which applicants were likely to be successful if hired.

In tray or e-tray exercise

During an in tray or e-tray exercise, you will be presented with a series of tasks which are typical for the opportunity you are applying for. Tasks such as email messages, reports or briefing documents will be given and applicants need to prioritize a certain task and provide an explanation of why they chose to accomplish that task first.

Group Exercise

This activity can take many forms. Some businesses will ask applicants to complete a group presentation, a group discussion based on a case study or a task that involves solving a problem.

Individual or Group Presentation

This could be based on a topic provided in advance or on a case study from earlier in the day. Presentations are used to gauge how you communicate and/or deliver a message. To be successful in this phase, you have to make sure you present your ideas in a clear and coherent manner.

Interview

There could be one or more interviews over the course of the day which could involve a one to one or a panel interview or both. The key is to be prepared and do your own research about the company and the role you’re applying for. You also need to make sure that you are well-rested and not physically or mentally exhausted.

Throughout the day there will also be social breaks. Although not formally assessed, they are a great opportunity to demonstrate how effective your people and interpersonal skills are.

Again, the best way to succeed during an assessment day is to prepare thoroughly. Complete as many practice aptitude tests as you can, and carefully read through the correspondence that the recruiter sends you. The assessment day is what you make of it. If you go with an optimistic outlook and really carry yourself well, there is no reason why your assessment day can’t result in an offer of employment.

Follow GradGuard on social media for more motivational and tip-worthy posts!

 

Edward Mellett is the founder of Practice Reasoning Tests. After failing employer’s assessment tests many times before getting a graduate job in 2005, he created PracticeReasoningTests to teach the lessons he learned along the way. Edward has created numerous in-depth guides about psychometric testing and other types of job tests.

Health Other

7 Ways to Combat Homesickness

November 12, 2018

There have been plenty of studies that show that homesickness is common among freshmen. More than 58% of students in the United States feel moderately homesick after spending a few months away from home, while around 33% feel highly homesick during their first school year. We’ve got some advice on how to overcome homesickness and cope with the loneliness you can feel at college, but first – remember to keep your head up and heart strong no matter what happens!

Get out of your room

The first step you must take is leaving your room and searching for new experiences. You have completely changed your environment, so feelings of loneliness are normal to pop up. Even when you pursue your daily activities, try to do it outside – read your book in a public place or study at the university’s library. There’s a higher chance you’ll meet cool people this way!

Learn something new

Ever wanted to learn how to row, play basketball, or become a chess expert? College is very good at helping you transition from one environment to another – so make sure you take advantage of the opportunities you’re offered. Pursue the activities that you like, and you’ll soon meet more people than you could’ve imagined!

Create a new comfort zone

Everyone has their own personalized comfort zone. Whether it’s your bed, desk, garage, or park bench, there’s always that one place where you feel utterly safe. Here, you can unwind and be yourself, regardless of what others think. Finding that comfort zone in college is a necessity! So go out and find one today if you don’t have one yet.

Skype!

Even though you’ve moved out of the city, be sure you make time for old friends and family. Keeping in contact with them is crucial, especially when you miss them. If you can visit them, that’s even better. Remember though – if your hometown is located close to the school, you’ll be tempted to visit them too often. Try to designate only one weekend per month for this activity just to make sure you still integrate on campus and make new friends.

Go to a party!

Parties are a part of the true college experience. Just remember to be safe while also having a good time. Try to go with some friends from class or who live in the same residence hall as you. There is always safety in numbers and it will also help you expand your social circle.

Get involved on campus

Joining or opening a new club is an excellent activity to pursue in college. People with common interests should meet up and become friends, shouldn’t they?

Study hard

When you are part of numerous clubs and party endlessly, school grades tend to get shaky. Make sure you are always on top of your assignments. Attend office hours and go tutoring if you need to. Always reach out to your professors and be active in class! Staying focused on your studies leaves less time for your mind to wander 

Just always remember that homesickness is normal. Worries are normal. Parties are normal. Making new friends is normal. Just go with the flow, enjoy the process, and have some fun!

GradGuard is around every week with new motivational and tip-worthy content to help you through the rough patches! Follow us on social media to stay in the loop!

 

Scott Mathews is a professional content writer at Brillassignment.co.uk and writes about topics such as education, school & college development. Scott’s biggest passion is blogging and traveling. He regularly takes part in different conferences and contributes his posts to different websites. Contact him on Facebook and Twitter.

Health Other

Freelance vs. Office: Which is Better for Your Mental Health?

November 5, 2018

Freelancing is a diverse, exciting world. But what impact does it have on psychological well-being, and is it a better option for those with mental health problems? If you are trying to weight it up – here are a few factors to consider:

Benefitting from flexible working hours:

One of the major perks of freelancing is that you can set your own hours. This allows you to attend doctors’ appointments and take a mental health day from work if needed.

It also allows you to work fewer hours until you feel better.

On the other hand, it requires discipline. It can be hard to summon the motivation to sit down and get on with a task. This is a way that an office job can help you stay productive, which in turn will boost your self-efficacy and self-esteem.

Having finances to cope with job insecurity:

You can’t deny the fact that a freelancers’ income is irregular. Clients can hire and fire you at will, while a traditional office job offers greater job security, which is better for your mental health.  If your financial situation is shaky, the stress that comes with finding enough work each month can be considerable.

The need for communication:

Social interaction is important to maintain a good mental state. On the other hand, many people find office environments to be quite stressful places.

If you choose to work for yourself, be sure to cultivate and keep a social life. You could also rent shared workspaces with other freelancers and join business networks to exchange support and ideas.

Being comfortable with marketing and networking:

It’s common for freelancers to work online, but you will still need to market yourself via social media, and have some difficult conversations about pricing, projects, and deadlines.

Ask yourself whether you have these skills. If this makes you feel stressed out and it isn’t a barrier you want to overcome, freelancing may not be the best option for you.

Benefitting from employee assistance program (EAP):

As a freelancer, you’d likely need to pay for your own health insurance, but if you can find a traditional job with good benefits this may be a better option for you. So if you have a choice, consider choosing a company based on the support they offer employees.

Drawing boundaries and “switching off” outside of working hours:

Worrying about projects can lead to heightened levels of stress, which may worsen mental health conditions. Office time is more structured and it can be easier to leave your work at the door when you leave. This should definitely be a consideration when you are deciding between freelance and office.

So, is it better to be a freelancer or office worker?

“The right answer for you will depend on your personality, circumstances, and mental health status” –   mentions Mary, a freelance translator of The Word Point. If you still aren’t sure, be open-minded and try a few different arrangements.

Be prepared to experiment to find what works for you. Whatever you do, always put your mental health first and seek support if you start to feel overwhelmed. 

Remember that GradGuard is here to help you with all of your college hacks and insurance needs!

Career Other

Stepping into the Professional World on the Right Foot

October 22, 2018

Planning for the future can be confusing at times, but who says it has to be a struggle? From standing out at your internship to planning your post-grad plans, there are plenty of easy changes you can make to look and feel your best in order to succeed. Having the confidence to thrive in the professional world will position you to excel in whatever you do. Here’s what you should be doing to ensure you start off on the right foot:

Update Your Resume Frequently

It never hurts to get a second, or even a third, opinion on your resume. Rather than talking about your day-to-day duties on your resume, it’s best to demonstrate the skill set and benefit that you personally brought to a company/organization, and to have your desired company in mind while doing so. This can and should be, a process that it is completed regularly before applying to any job. Also as you engage in volunteer events, clubs, internships, and other extracurricular activities.

Utilizing the knowledge of classmates, professors, and your career center can help you to compile the best of what you have to offer, and showcase what is most important. Accepting constructive criticism, updating your vocabulary, and finding new ways to create a quality, eye-catching resume will put you ahead of the game.

Don’t be afraid to get creative when structuring your resume, as some employers like to see out-of-the-box interpretations, but use your best judgment. If you’re applying for a position at a young, creative company, for example, consider tailoring your resume to fit the company’s mission, values, and overall aesthetic. As you would tailor a cover letter to fit the job you are applying for, you should always do the same with your resume. Having a strong skill set on paper can help you emulate the confidence you need to score the job of your dreams.

Dress the Part

A big part of being the best version of yourself in the professional world is dressing the part. This doesn’t mean you have to dress business professional every day, but elevating your style to look more put-together, and especially well-dressed during important moments, is a great first step. For ladies, it’s easy to be stylish by pairing trendy loafers with dark wash jeans and a button-down top. Swap the jeans out for a pencil skirt and add a cute suit jacket for a more professional twist. Purchasing staple pieces that you can alternate from ultra-casual to business is a great way to elevate your look. For men, try renting a great suit for a big interview or networking event. In your everyday wear, get some stylish dress shoes to pair with dark jeans or khakis and a nice shirt or sweater.

Of course, you’ll still have days where wearing sweatpants in public is fine, but try to limit it to the weekends or for running quick errands. You never know who you’ll see on a grocery store run or in class, so it’s important to always be on your A-game and grow more comfortable dressing professionally.

Network

Networking is an important step to take when positioning yourself for success. No matter how far along you are in your collegiate career, it is never too early to take advantage of networking opportunities. When it comes to events, showing up in your best professional attire with a resume and business card in-hand can give you the confidence to interact with anyone. Work on your elevator speech, build an off-paper resume that you can speak to, and work on some speaking techniques to command the room and exude confidence.

The most important thing to remember about excelling at networking is maintaining the connections you make. Reach out to your connections on LinkedIn, offer to meet them for coffee when you’re in their area and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or insight when the opportunity presents itself. If you keep these connections into your career, it may turn into a mutually beneficial connection down the road.

 

Be sure to look to GradGuard for all of your Motivational Monday posts!

Career Other

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Grad School

October 15, 2018

When you graduate from college, you have options about how to make your next move. Some will try to jump into the workforce, some take time off, and others think about continuing their education by applying to graduate school. If you’re considering grad school, make sure to ask yourself these five questions first:

1. Am I sure of what I want to study?
Graduate school is obviously different than the undergraduate experience. You might have started out as a freshman with an undeclared major, and took your time deciding on what to major in. Grad school doesn’t really offer that luxury. You have to know what it is that you want to study and what degree you’d like to eventually obtain. This will make searching through grad programs easier. If you don’t have any specific goals in mind though, grad school might not be the best idea.

2. Will this advance my career prospects?
When you already know what it is you want to study in grad school, you need to ask yourself how it will affect your professional future. Grad school will take up a lot of your time and it can be pretty expensive. You might want to get an MFA in creative writing, but will that help you get a paying career before you can be a bestselling author? If you’re interested in something that won’t necessarily help your career prospects, consider putting off grad school until you have more stability and a steady income.

3. Can I afford it?
Most students graduate college with a huge pile of student loans. It’s important to think about how you’ll tackle those payments in addition to new bills for grad school. Try looking for scholarships and grants, and find out what schools and programs would be within your budget. Also consider the fact that some jobs will help pay for your graduate school classes! So if you’re ready to jump into the job market, find out what companies offer tuition reimbursement.

4. What schedule would be best?
Grad school accommodates for people’s busy schedules, so think about what time commitments would best suit your lifestyle. Full time, part time? Would you take night classes after work, or go during the day? Depending on what schedule you make for yourself, you can earn your degree in different amounts of time. Consider that too—do you want to devote three years to grad school, or do you want to set a sooner cutoff date and work from there?

5. Can I be fully committed?
Don’t forget that grad school is hard work. You’ll have to work more independently, and there will be higher expectations for you. You might get less guidance from professors than you did as an undergrad, and you’ll have to be self-motivated to stay on top of all your ongoing assignments. Make sure that you’ll be able to balance your grad school workload with any outside commitments you have.

If you’ve considered the above questions and are ready to start the graduate school search, excellent! Refer to this article to see what tests you’ll have to complete to be eligible.

Remember to look to GradGuard for all your college insurance needs!