How to Survive Grad School

A lot of you often ask us about our experiences in grad school from the application process, to the actual workload, to what we hope to accomplish upon graduation. We love answering all of your questions and sharing both of our experiences, which are totally different from one another! Shir has combined her Marketing undergraduate degree with an international graduate experience in Tel Aviv and is only half a semester away from graduation. Jamie has begun an entirely new chapter working towards her Masters in Interior Design in New York City and is in her second semester at NYSID.

Regardless of what you hope to study or where you plan to go to school, one thing is the same: grad school is not easy.¬†Think about your four years in undergrad; this is your time to make new friends, figure out who you are and what you hope to become. You’ve had time for weekend travel, maybe dropping a class or two, and really you’ve been able to grow up. Grad school is not this simple. At this point, you’ve narrowed down what you want to do, you spend all day every day working to accomplish this goal, and are constantly searching for part time internships during school your dream full time post-grad job.

All of the stress that is grad school is for a good reason: to become a master of your favorite thing and land your dream job! But we’ve learned that it’s also important to spend time working on self care so that you can be physically and mentally strong enough to succeed. We know that the stress of grad school sounds sort of crazy for those of you who have recently been accepted or those who are still waiting on applications, but during this past semester we’ve both learned how crucial it is to make time for yourself when school gets crazy. Below are our favorite ways of maintaining self care while in school, which applies to those of you still in undergrad, too:

  • eat clean: good food = good mood!
  • get a gym/Class Pass membership or download our favorite¬†BodyByGilles guide: sign up for fitness classes a week in advance to will hold yourself accountable for actually working out when you otherwise just feel like sleeping. or, if you have a gym in your apartment, try BodyByGilles for easy workout guides.
  • get your nails done: an instant mood booster, plus a little foot massage never hurts!
  • meet a friend for a coffee/matcha date to alleviate stress
  • do a face mask after class: our favorite brands are Frank & Whit, Cocokind, Boscia, and OLEHENRIKSEN
  • put the phone away an hour before bed: sleep is the most important thing to maintain your health and it has been proven that staring at your phone/laptop’s LED lights takes time away from your sleep schedule
  • meal prep: this is Jamie’s number one lifesaver when school gets crazy. it saves you so much time and money throughout the week and prevents you from binge eating fast food when you don’t have anything to eat around the house.
  • get a massage after midterms/finals as a reward
  • surround yourself with likeminded people (friends from class, home, family members) who understand your workload and are there to listen or study with
  • don’t drink caffeine past 2pm: trust us, you’ll be up all night, preventing you from getting the necessary sleep to be at 100% the next day!

Being a student has its pros and cons, but the most important thing is time management. Learn to make time for your studies, yourself, and the important people in your life. Learning to balance those aspects of your life will make you a happier person overall. We know it’s hard, especially during exam periods, to make time for some things that don’t seem as pressing at the time, but trust us, take a bath and relax after a long study day – you weren’t going to focus your 12th hour of studying that day anyway!




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