Resolutions. Distractions. Focus.

Posted Jan 28, 2022

It’s now mid-February. A month ago, at the start of the new year, many of us made resolutions. We may have wanted to exercise more, eat less “junk,” stay in better touch with those who are far from us. We wanted to better ourselves in some way. For some of you, this meant entering a graduate program at Otterbein. For others, this meant recommitting to graduate school and your courses at Otterbein. We were all so ready, weren’t we?  

At the same time, we faced distractions and challenges: responding to COVID-19’s Omicron variant, returning to work and classes after a holiday break, dealing with sunless days of winter. As the semester continues — and our workloads increase — we may find ourselves feeling stretched or overwhelmed. 

That’s when it’s most important to remember our goals, to focus, and to rely on resources that can help us reach our goals. Focus on why you are here. You selected your Otterbein graduate program to advance your career, increase your earning potential, and/or develop a depth of knowledge and skills that enable you to make a positive difference as a leader in your profession. With each class and assignment, you are getting closer to achieving your goals. Keeping your goals “front and center” can motivate and energize you.

Remember, too, that your graduate director and faculty are here for you. Yes, they challenge you — but they also support you as you strive toward your goals. They know that throughout your graduate education you’ll grow in ways you may not yet imagine, and they want to facilitate that growth.  

While we know that there is no one-size-fits-all tip list for graduate students, 8 Tips for Balancing Grad School and Full-Time Work may help you identify the best approaches for you as you progress through the semester. Your graduate program won’t be the same as the author’s, but the tips she offers may validate some approaches you are already taking and inspire you to consider others. 

We are committed to your success, and we look forward to your achievements.

Bridget M. Newell, Ph.D. 
Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Studies 

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