Student Affairs - Fostering Student Learning and Success Logo

Primary tabs

Adjusting to Graduate School

Graduate school is an amazing opportunity to deepen your education in an area of study that interests you, to develop your professional identity and to meet others with similar interests. However, the graduate student experience is also a period of adjustment, and along with these very positive experiences, there are challenges as well.

The adjustment to graduate school differs for each individual, however; there are some common hurdles which many graduate students express. Many graduate students had the experience of being a star student as an undergraduate, whereas in graduate school they are now surrounded by peers who are as smart as them. Further, many graduate students also experience the "imposter syndrome", which refers to the sense that it was a mistake that you got into graduate school and that someone might discover that you are not qualified to be in graduate school. Some graduate students also report that it is sometimes difficult to transition into a new learning environment that is very different from college or an 8-to-5 job. This includes learning how to interact with their cohort, which can feel both rewarding and competitive at times.

Please use Counseling and Psychological Services for support if and when you need us.