Jump to content

Starting research in less than a month...


Recommended Posts

Hi all-- I would love to hear some other students' advice, thoughts, and suggestions about my grad school situation!


I feel like my grad school application process was a bit of a whirlwind-- it took a while for the ball to get rolling, but once it did, everything accelerated very quickly.  I interviewed for a wildlife master's program at UTK in December and honestly did not feel to great about it.  But at the beginning of January, I got a very exciting acceptance phone call (woohoo!).  I'm really stoked about the project I will be working on and I was honestly thrilled when my advisor asked if I could start in the summer.  I assumed that starting in the summer meant I would start at the beginning of the summer term, take a class or two, and start on the project.  I drove up for a visit the other week just to touch base and clarify a few things.  During our chat, my advisor asked how soon I could start and I over eagerly told him the beginning of April (that's when I will be making the move to the Knoxville area).  He seemed really thrilled about that and I can't wait to start.  But... during the long drive home, I started to get a little concerned-- I won't be starting at the same time as other new students, I won't have any classes to help guide me (I guess that could be a good thing too-- I can focus solely on research), I have been out of school for two years so I feel a bit out of my academic game... the list goes on. 


So, any words of advice as I start my grad school adventure in, well, about three weeks (ahhhhh!)?  Is this mild anxiety justified or am I just getting worked up?  Are there things I need to be doing right now to get ready?  Anyone else starting at a random time?  Any general suggestions about starting grad life?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'll be fine. When the rest of your cohort arrives, you can be there go-to person for where to get a cheap drink, find good ice cream, or get good food late at night. Yes, you'll be starting at a different time than them, but that might also make it easier to connect to the current grad students there. Be willing to go out with people after your time in the lab or on the project if they ask. If someone invites you for lunch, coffee, or dinner, say yes whenever possible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, you'll be thankful that you have a head start on research. It's really not that uncommon for wildlife graduate positions to get started with field work the summer before classes start. This often happens when the PI has a very specific project in mind and already has a protocol in place. I wish I had this opportunity when I started my masters program... it would have given me two years of data instead of just one! However, my PI only had a very general idea of the project he wanted me to work on and really just kind of told me when class started to look up a few things and figure it out myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use