Postgraduate courses can be challenging, time consuming and at times overwhelming. You will be balancing a high workload and likely be figuring out a career path. While you will want to do the best you can, it is important to do so without compromising your wellbeing.
Here are some top tips to look after your wellbeing while completing your postgraduate course:
Plan your year carefully, including breaks:
During your postgraduate course it can be useful to plan ahead. Prioritising tasks can help ensure you get the most out of your postgraduate studies. Know when your deadlines are coming up and plan for them, make sure you use your limited time efficiently. Organising your tasks and planning ahead can help you to feel more in control of your studies. When you are planning ahead it is not all about work, being organised will help you to create time for other aspects in your life. Plan in time to look after yourself and your wellbeing. Taking time off to look after yourself and your wellbeing can help to combat stress and increase productivity.
It can be more productive to use short bursts of concentration rather than spending long periods in front of your computer. The Pomodoro Technique can be a helpful tool to use:
Seek Peer support
Having a good support network can be helpful when things get though. Completing a postgraduate degree provides a great opportunity to build a network with other postgraduate students.
- The University of Warwick Postgraduate hub is a good place to start when you are trying to make connections with other Postgraduate students.
https://warwick.ac.uk/services/library/pghubLink opens in a new window
- The Global Connections Community is great way for students to connect.
https://warwick.ac.uk/students/opportunities/worldatwarwick/events/globalconnectionsclubLink opens in a new window
You don't have to be perfect
Setting goals and having high standards helps us achieve things in life. There is a difference, however, between a healthy pursuit of excellence and unhelpful perfectionism. When goals and tasks are only achievable at great cost, emotionally and/or physically and socially, perfectionism becomes a problem and can actually impair performance.
Students on postgraduate courses are generally there because they did well in their undergraduate degree. This can lead to students having high expectations of success at postgraduate level. For some students, perfectionism may lead to staying up all night to finish a paper, which (if done repeatedly) can be detrimental to their wellbeing. Other students may set goals that are impossible to reach which may lead to procrastination, avoidance and not feeling good enough.
Allowing yourself to take breaks and plan in fun activities will help to improve both your wellbeing and your performance.
Look after your wellbeing and make sure of University resources:
If you are struggling with any aspect of your life at Warwick, or you want to be more involved in the postgraduate community at Warwick, you may find the following links helpful:
University of Warwick resources for Postgraduates
- Current Research Students - Information for research postgraduates.
- Masters Skills Programme - Workshops on academic and personal skills.
- Postgraduate Student Blogs - See what other postgraduates are up to.
- Postgraduate Facebook Community - Link in with other postgraduates via facebook.
- 1:1 Career Guidance Appointments - Bookable appointments and drop-in sessions for careers and academic skills advice.
- Cultural Activities - See what events are coming up at the PGHub.
- Warwick Postgrads on Twitter
- Wolfson Research Exchange - Connecting researchers with researchers on Twitter.
- Life After Warwick - Starting to think about what comes next after being a postgraduate at Warwick.
Helpful advice and information about being a postgraduate
- Postgrad.com - A website about all things postgrad.
- Troublesome Encounters - Strategies for managing the wellbeing of Masters and Doctoral Education students during their learning processes.
- Studying a PhD: don't suffer in silence - Advice on coping with the challenges of doing a PhD.
- Tips on Looking After Yourself as a PhD student - Times Higher Education article.
- PhinisheD - A discussion and support group for people trying to finish their dissertations or theses.
Wellbeing and Student Support
Wellbeing and Student Support offer a ‘Steps to Wellbeing’ programme which addresses different topics related to wellbeing – you can sign up here: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/wss/students/wbprogramme/
Wellbeing masterclasses: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/wss/students/masterclass
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