UW Graduate School

December 7, 2017

Pushing Through to the End of the Quarter

It’s the home stretch of the quarter and we know you are actively working through your projects, grading, and other milestones, even while looking ahead to the break. We offer a few tips that can help you make the most of these final weeks.

Set Priorities. Look over your schedule for the next two weeks. Block out time slots you know you can’t be flexible on: hard deadlines for school, work, and family time. Hold off on meetings or appointments that can actually wait until after the quarter (and holiday break) is done. You’ll start to see where you have wiggle room for things like self-care. The reality is, there is always time take care of ourselves. This can be a glass of water, a healthy snack, getting up from your desk to stretch, a 10-minute walk outside, or even taking a nap to improve your productivity. Setting priorities allows us to realistically see that we do have control over our schedules, especially when stress makes us feel the complete opposite.

Writing. Carve out 30 minutes of time each day to work on your writing. Set a timer, close your web browsers, and unplug from social media. You’ll find that you’re eventually making progress on that larger writing project. For more support, remember that you can schedule an appointment with a writing tutor at your UW campus. You also have the option of reaching out to a peer or two in your department — or from outside of your program — to hold one another accountable for writing by organizing group writing sessions. If you’re considering something more structured beyond this quarter, here are some tips for organizing a thesis or dissertation writing group.

Connect with your support network. It can be a struggle to stay motivated these last few weeks of the quarter and complete what needs to get done. But as Andrea Zellner from GradHacker states, “Don’t underestimate the power of your cheering section. Maybe all you need to get moving is a pep talk.” Call, Skype, or meet up with a close friend or family member, so they can root you on! Attend a community gathering with like-minded peers, such as the upcoming Holiday Gathering for First-Gen Graduate Students in Seattle, or the Holiday Wine, Beer & Spirits Walk in Bothell, or organize a low-key, small potluck with peers to celebrate one another. If you’re needing mental health support — and there is no shame in this at all — reach out to your campus counseling center for an appointment or for community resource referrals.

Check in with advisors and mentors. Maybe you’re in a 9-month graduate program, about to complete the first quarter of your Master’s degree, or heading into the final months of your doctoral program. Maybe you and your advisor or mentor haven’t checked in with each other in a while (because life happens). Whether you are thinking through your goals for winter quarter or needing guidance on your research or next steps in your graduate program, it might be a good idea to schedule a time to meet with your advisor(s). Check in with them via email to see about scheduling a time to meet during early winter quarter. Just scheduling the meeting can give you piece of mind.

We hope you find these tips useful in helping you push through — and thrive — at the end of the quarter!

Best,

Core Programs Team
#UWGradSuccess