Under(grad) Pressure

Portland State University Graduation Ceremony 2012

By: Shezad K.

The last year of your undergraduate career can be kind of scary and overwhelming. If you’re planning on going to grad school and you haven’t even started to prepare, it’s time to step on it.

I, like many others, am a severe procrastinator when it comes to things that stress me out. A lot of times I need that sense of pressure as a push for me to get things going. I finally got up the nerve to email some professors about getting letters of recommendation at the beginning of this month. Although this isn’t a severely late start to the process, it is a lot later than it should be. I still have to take my GRE and put together my writing samples. This is one of those things that you won’t want to save until the last minute. Honestly, it’s just going to get worse the longer you put it aside.

Start planning early. Look for schools that have grad programs you’re interested in. Research the programs instead of just checking for your field of study. Start the application – make sure you know exactly what they’re looking for in the application. Send your requests for letters of recommendation ASAP. You want to give your professors enough time – they’re probably a lot busier than you are – and if they write you a letter, you owe them a lot of gratitude.

Trust me, folks. You’re going to be glad if you start sooner rather than later. It’ll make ending your last undergraduate year a lot smoother.

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