According to the US Army Survival Manual, S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. means:
S – Size up the situation. Your surroundings, physical conditions, and equipment.
U – Use all your senses undue haste makes waste.
R – Remember 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.
V – Vanquish fear and panic.
I – Improvise. See how to adopt tools to new purpose.
V – Value living. Don’t give up.
A – Act like the natives. Discover how they survive.
L – Live 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!
S – Size 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.
U – Use 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.
R – Remember 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.
V – Vanquish fear and panic. When you are in such a situation, stop, look, and listen.
I – Improvise. 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.
V – Value living. Life is worth the sacrifice. So is grad school.
A – Act 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.
L – Live 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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