Note for First-Year Graduate Student

Few tips for new graduate-students to make shift from undergrad mindset to become an independent researcher.

The Bell Tower, University of California, Riverside

If you are a new graduate student, time can be tough because you have a lot of hassles in the first year. You have several heavy coursework, need to maintain minimum GPA, have to do teaching assistants (TA),  probably rotate in labs and select your Ph.D. supervisor, learn new skills in the laboratory as well as set-up yourself in a new city (new country for international students like me), explore the new campus, make new friends and cook your own food. That’s a lot for the first year.

While it is easy to become overwhelmed to meet these requirements, a fresh graduate student must not forget the big idea of a Ph.D. research. Many new graduate students are fresh Bachelor or Masters degree holders who approach the Ph.D. program as like undergraduate school, which is a mistake. Often there can be a gap of suggestion and lake of help to make a clear conception of what a Ph.D. program is.

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