Second-year College of Law student Hilda A. Frimpong has been elected by her peers as the next editor in chief of Syracuse Law Review. When she assumes her duties for Volume 72 (2021-22), Frimpong will be the first Black student…
‘8 Tips for Grad Students for Planning in 2021’
Timur Hammond, assistant professor of geography and the environment in the Maxwell School, wrote an op-ed for Inside Higher Ed titled “8 Tips for Grad Students for Planning in 2021.” Hammond also serves as a faculty liaison for the Future Professoriate Program at Syracuse University.
In the piece, Hammond outlines some changes that graduate students can make to create more room for joy and positive mental health as students. Hammond says that graduate work often comes with a set of both professional and personal anxieties, which have only been exacerbated by the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic. He outlines eight useful transformations to improve both daily life and planning.
Hammond first recommends that grad students schedule time to work on long-term projects every day, as it helps balance the “relative mismatch” between short- and long-term responsibilities in graduate school. He also recommends leaving negative space, in that sometimes students’ work needs nothing more or their schedule should remain empty for a bit. Hammond also says it is important for students to track their writing time, as it helps people stay positive about how much work they can get done instead of comparing themselves to others.
Two of the most important changes students can make, Hammond says, are to build multiple systems of accountability and limit your distractions, especially when it comes to social media. While graduate school can quickly become an overwhelming and constant stream of work, Hammond says it is necessary to cultivate a practice and a goal that is not work-related as it can spark joy in everyday tasks. And while Hammond has adopted planning to guide his day-to-day practices better, he says that it is not the plan that matters but rather the process of planning that is important, as it keeps us accountable.
Yet, Hammond’s biggest takeaway is for students to be generous with both themselves and others. “Remember to be generous with yourself: put in the work that you can, how you can. Tomorrow is a new day,” Hammond writes.
To read his essay in its entirety, visit Inside Higher Ed.
Syracuse University media relations team members work regularly with the campus community to secure placements of op-eds. Anyone interested in writing an op-ed should first review the University’s op-ed guidelines and email firstname.lastname@example.org.