We <3 Grad Terps – Here's 5 Ways to Appreciate Yourself, too!

By: Natasha Paleau, University of Maryland Public Health Graduate Student

Life in graduate school is usually bursting at the seams. Straddling the line between the student world and the professional world, we, as graduate students, are concerned with coursework, assistantships, research, internships, full-time jobs, raising families, and more, all while somehow finding time to take care of our health.

We manage our lives by juggling: learning, teaching, reading, writing, studying, presenting, sleeping, eating, caffeinating, and [only sometimes] socializing and recreating.

It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of a hectic and jam-packed schedule. Every once in a while, though, it’s important to take a step back and remember the big picture, the meaning behind all the to-do lists, and the value in our work.

The University of Maryland recognizes that being a graduate student isn’t always so easy. Last week, our community let us know that our hard work isn’t going unnoticed. It was Graduate Student Appreciation Week here on campus, and Graduate Student Life really pulled out all the stops to shower us with appreciation!

They had a full schedule of events this week, from free breakfasts and lunches, to free career consultations, to free massages, and more! There was also Graduate Research Interaction Day, as well as awesome giveaways like “I ❤ Grad Terps” travel mugs and t-shirts.

While it’s incredibly encouraging that our faculty, staff, and undergraduate counterparts take time to recognize our efforts each Spring, we don’t have to wait for this week to feel appreciated. Self-appreciation is an integral aspect of self-care, and it’s something we should be practicing every day.

Here are a few ways to show yourself some appreciation:

  1. Take care of yourself. Put wellness on your to-do list, and make sure you prioritize your personal wellbeing over all other commitments.
  2. Make a list of your accomplishments since starting graduate school. Update your resume to reflect the awesome things you’ve done.
  3. Treat yourself to a reward. You work SO hard, graduate student, you deserve that massage/nap/ hot bath/weekend getaway.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others. You’ve gotten where you are as a result of your own strengths and hard work. Respect that.
  5. Learn to accept compliments and take pride in your achievements. When someone acknowledges your accomplishments, say thank you. There’s no need to downplay what you’ve done.

It’s important that we recognize the value and meaning in our journey through graduate school. There are incredible benefits that come with being a graduate student.

We are furthering our education, advancing our degrees, and pursuing our careers. We’re making an investment in our future, and ourselves.

We are furthering our pursuit of intellectual and vocational wellness.

When we start to feel bogged down by a seemingly endless list of responsibilities, it’s nice to remember that our work has meaning: for us, for our advisors, for our co-workers and classmates, and for our University. If others on campus can recognize and appreciate all we do, why can’t we?

Share with us.

Did you participate in any of the Graduate Student Appreciation Week Activities?

How do you practice self-appreciation?

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