Your success as a graduate student is built upon the foundation you establish as an undergraduate. Make sure it’s a strong one.
Take care of academics
Set high goals and develop a plan to meet them:
- Study class material the same day you learn it
- Use tools like calendar software to stay on track
- Use weekends efficiently
- Read ahead, be prepared for lecture
- Ask questions during lectures
Your professors were once prospective graduate students themselves - they are a tremendous resource for navigating the academic landscape. Go to office hours, get to know them, and find out about their research. These are your potential future mentors, project advisers, letters of recommendation writers, and colleagues.
Join co-curricular clubs, student teams, and professional organizations. In addition to giving you opportunities to build and use leadership skills, these are great ways to create connections and get exposure in your field.
Use your free time, and especially your summers, to gain research experience via research projects, internships, or co-ops.