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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Surviving grad school: Army style

According to the US Army Survival Manual, S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. means:

SSize up the situation. Your surroundings, physical conditions, and equipment.

UUse all your senses undue haste makes waste.

RRemember where you are. Pay close attention to where you are and where you are going, and don’t rely on others to keep track of the route.

VVanquish fear and panic.

IImprovise. See how to adopt tools to new purpose.

VValue living. Don’t give up.

AAct like the natives. Discover how they survive.

LLive by your wits. But for now, learn basic skills.

I have modified the definition above in order to suit the grad school context.

Here’s a grad school survival tip, army style!

SSize up the situation. Be always observant of the situations around the school campus, the physical facilities, location of offices, the professional and political environment, studying conditions, and equipments available.

UUse all your senses. Look around you. Listen to what others say. Taste the food in the canteen. Smell the fresh air in the school grounds. Try to feel what other students, teachers or staff are concerned about.

RRemember where you are. Always be aware of the reasons why you are in grad school. You should always be the one who knows where you are and where you are going ‘coz others won’t do it for you.

VVanquish fear and panic. When you are in such a situation, stop, look, and listen.

IImprovise. Find new ways to do things efficiently. Purchase gadgets that can make your work easier. Learn new methods or techniques that will make you productive.

VValue living. Life is worth the sacrifice. So is grad school.

AAct like the ones who have been there. Discover how students before you survive the academe. Observe them or just plainly ask them, you’ll be surprised by how much insights they can provide.

LLive by your wits. And for now, learn basic skills. I’m referring to computer skills, mathematical skills, research skills, etc.

There you have it! The soldier survives the jungle. And so does a grad student.

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