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Announcement

Rackham Graduate School will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22. We will return at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 27. During the holiday, there will be no processing of application materials and no updates to your Wolverine Access account. After we reopen, there will be a delay in processing application materials. Thank you for your patience as we process the high volume of materials.

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Stories, blog posts, and more illuminating the experiences of graduate life and highlighting the impact of our students’ critical research.

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My Disillusionment, and How I Consequently Made Friends in Graduate School

I was having a talk with my bestie about making friends in graduate school. I’ve been in my program for close to 3 years now, since I came straight out of college. She worked for a couple years and then went back to graduate school for architecture this past fall. I experienced this too when I started, but recently she’s been telling me about her work-life balance and/or mid-life crisis of spending all her time working and never actually getting a chance to get to know people. All of this got me thinking about the past years and how my relationships with people have changed, and now I am going to reflect upon it in this blog entry.

Setting Your Own Goals for Graduate School

Here is a problem: attrition rates in graduate school are high and are increasing per year. The percentage of students who don’t complete graduate school can be anywhere from 20% to 60% of the cohort size (depending on which study you read). That’s 20% to 60% of college graduates not reaching their original career aspirations.

So the question is, why do these students, who have excelled in their studies throughout their lives, suddenly decide to quit? Could it be that they were wrong? Maybe not wrong, but that they needed to take a step back for some perspective? Will some of them return to graduate school? Will they spurn higher education? What’s next for this well-educated and overqualified population?

A Social Life in Graduate School Is Just as Important as an Academic Life

Believe it or not, having a social life is an integral part of graduate school. When I first started graduate school, most of my friends were people that were in my cohort. However, as people have started finishing, moved to other places while still in the program, or have had a variety of other life transitions, meeting people outside of my program has become more important, because the majority of friends from my program are no longer in Ann Arbor.

This isn’t easy, though. Having a social life isn’t something that is stressed in graduate school, but it should be. It can be cloying, at times, to only know, talk to, and hang out with people that are in your same graduate program. Sometimes you need an escape, and that escape comes in the form of other people.

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