Tips for Restarting Grad School

Set Goals

Getting accepted into a University of Oklahoma College of Law program is an accomplishment all on its own and something to be very proud of. Even if you have encountered a setback or two, the fact remains that you have worked very hard to get to this point, and there is no better way to keep yourself motivated than to set goals and write them down. It may sound cliché, but goal setting is a habit that will serve you well in your studies and all your future pursuits.

  • Set both long and short-term goals
  • Goals should be measurable
  • Share your goals with others

Focus on Learning

Think about all the reasons why you decided to enroll in grad school to begin with. Always remember the “why” and focus on the skills and knowledge you are attaining. What you achieve in the program will directly result from the importance you place on learning.

  • Keep a list of what you learned each day
  • Align what you are learning with your goals
  • See the big picture

Schedule Your Time Wisely

You have made it this far and are clearly committed to your future. Part of that commitment involves scheduling your time appropriately to set yourself up for success. If you are someone who already knows how much time you have to dedicate to each of your daily activities, you’re off to a great start.

  • List your top priorities for the day in order of importance
  • Increase efficiency by clustering similar tasks into chunks of time
  • Try utilizing the Pomodoro Technique to break your work into 25-minute chunks

Prioritize Your Health

It may feel daunting to find time to focus on your own mental and physical well-being on top of all your other responsibilities. The fact is that the importance of doing so cannot be overstated. Creating regular routines to help achieve mental and physical wellness is a great way to unlock the best version of yourself. Making time to nourish your mind and body will only enhance your ability to achieve your fullest potential. After all, you can’t run on an empty tank.

  • Try meditating
  • Set aside time in your day to exercise
  • Meal prep to alleviate stress

Network with Your Peers

Many of our graduate students have formed long-lasting personal and professional relationships. Our programs offer many opportunities to collaborate and network with your peers. In fact, these opportunities are built right into the curriculum. Connecting with classmates helps to foster and promote an environment of creativity, support, and success.

  • Be proactive in establishing personal and professional friendships
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your peers for help
  • Line up a formal working session with peers once a month

Seek Out a Mentor

There is no magical formula to ensure your success, but there are ways to set yourself up on the right path. Whether it is a professor or a professional already established in the field, having a mentor to ask questions, share ideas with, and help guide you along your journey is invaluable. A mentor can help you unlock your potential and expand your horizons beyond what you thought possible.

  • Be clear about your goals
  • Seek out new and different perspectives
  • Communicate clear expectations

Stay Organized

Don’t underestimate the power of being organized. Strive to create an organizational system that works for you and is practical so that organization becomes second nature and not a burden. Like many other things, it will take practice to make this happen, but the rewards you will reap from the peace of mind and time saved through good organizational habits are invaluable.

  • Use an organizational app or planner to aid your efforts
  • Plan your week by blocking out time for work, school, family, and personal time
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Communication is Key

You are in the exciting position of furthering your professional goals while still honoring your current life commitments. At times it can seem overwhelming but remember that most people are more than happy to help accommodate your needs as long as you are honest about your situation. People aren’t mind readers. That’s why clearly communicating with those around you is key to achieving appropriate balance in your life.

  • Be willing to listen
  • Always be open to suggestions
  • Understand and accept that some things cannot be changed

Make Time to Unwind

Your time is precious! With everything you have going on in your life, the idea of fun can easily take a back seat. But when you have a solid plan and you have gotten yourself into a routine that you are comfortable with, there is no better time to be a bit spontaneous and embrace having fun with friends and family. After all, the work will always be there when you return.

  • Fun is necessary and not just a reward
  • Look for ways to make daily activities more fun
  • Make time for your significant other and/or family and friends

Contact Your Student Success Team To Get Started