Most students going into grad school assume their experience will be more or less like their undergrad experience. Maybe it will be a little more challenging and there will be fewer dorm pranks, but it’s still just like a slightly more mature college experience, right?
Guess again. Graduate school is actually a very different animal, and the sooner you’re clear on the differences, the more equipped you’ll be to succeed.
You do a lot of work outside of class, but the classroom is the nucleus of your studies.
Your coursework is mostly there as a foundation for your own study beyond the classroom.
Your campus is your entire world. You may venture out, but you’re largely tethered to it.
You’re in the campus, but you’re not of it. One exception: the library.
Your education is more or less mapped out for you from your freshman year on.
You’ll have a structure to your grad school career—but you’ll determine what it looks like.
Your professor is basically your boss.
Your professor is more like a mentor who can affirm your independent study.