Perpetually Under Construction

Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students

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Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students by Stephen C. Stearns

tl;dr:

  1. Always Prepare for the Worst
  2. Nobody cares about you
  3. You Must Know Why Your Work is Important
  4. Psychological Problems are the Biggest Barrier
  5. Avoid Taking Lectures - They’re Usually Inefficient
  6. Write a Proposal and Get It Criticized
  7. Manage Your Advisors
  8. Types of Theses
  9. Start Publishing Early
  10. Don’t Look Down on a Master’s Thesis
  11. Publish Regularly, But Not Too Much

This is a writeup that’s always worth a read every now and then. It helps put things into perspective and gets you thinking about how your graduate career is advancing.

I’ve learned in my undergraduate years how to navigate the academic system and carve out my own path. It’s served me well and gives my advisors confidence that I know what I am doing. I’m also lucky to work with people that gives me a lot of academic freedom to explore and work on problems that are interesting to me, but also gives me advice and point me in the right away when I wonder too far off course.

Now that I am finishing up my coursework, I personally know I need to address my (lack of) writing. The first step of solving a problem is acknowledging the problem:

I need to write more.

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