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Graduate Students

Grad student reading a book

Getting into graduate school is a tremendous academic accomplishment. Graduate students have unique stressors and life situations and often must navigate competing personal, financial, academic, and relationship responsibilities.

Self-Care Tips for Graduate Students

  • Check in with yourself to monitor stress. Many people do not realize they are chronically stressed until it significantly impacts daily functioning. Set a reminder or carve out a few minutes at various points in the day to connect with yourself and see how you are feeling and what you might need in the moment.
    • To identify your stress, think about what you spend your time thinking or worrying about.
  • Practice balance. Finding a balance is an ongoing process, not a final goal. Rather than trying to stay balanced, think of it as practicing balancing over and over.
    • Prioritize.
    • Give yourself permission to say no.
    • Set short- and long-term goals.
  • Find coping skills.
    • Practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself. Grad school is challenging and the experience is likely new for you. Correct your errors and find ways to forgive yourself so you can move on.
    • Get sufficient sleep and try to maintain healthy eating habits. Get in some exercise when you can.
    • Tune into yourself and do something to reward yourself.
    • Focus on what you CAN and CANNOT control. When we focus on what we can control, we can feel more empowered.
  • Practice time management. Know your prime time: schedule challenging activities and tasks during your peak performance hours. Focus on simpler projects when you have lower energy.
    • Organize your workspace.
    • Find a study group or lab partner.
    • Take a break from social media.
  • Work on imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you don’t belong or will be discovered as a fraud or incapable compared to peers.
    • Reframe your thinking: are there benefits to being a novice? Are you expected to know all the answers?
    • Focus on learning: this is a time to grow and learn. You are not expected to know all the answers.
    • Perspective: you are not alone.
  • Ask for help. If you find you are struggling, ask a friend, family member or trusted faculty member for help. Asking for help is a strength.
    • Don't wait too long to get help. Stresses of grad school are real and sometimes self-care is not enough.

The Counseling Center is equipped to offer a range of services to Drexel graduate students. We offer individual therapy, workshops and grad-specific interpersonal process groups. To make an appointment email us at counseling@drexel.edu or call us at 215.895.1415.

Grad Group

This interpersonal process group is for graduate-level students who want to experience stronger emotional connections with others while also working through personal issues that may be unique to being a part of a graduate program at Drexel. If you feel like you are alone in your struggles as a graduate student, this group gives you an opportunity to connect with others who might share similar challenges and feelings. For more information, please visit our Groups page.

Online Resources

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The content provided here is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, nor should it replace the consultation of a trained medical or mental health professional. Please note that outside links are not under our control, and we cannot guarantee the content contained on them.