“5 Secret Weapons Every Graduate Student Should Have” – Advice from Dr. Nyasha Junior

Dr. Nyasha Junior, a professor of biblical studies, shared a few tips for current graduate students on her blog, No Extra CreditThere, she often writes about higher education, including her own experiences in academia.

See her post below.


Wonder Woman has a Lasso of Truth.
Iron Man has a suit of armor.
I don’t have any secret powers as a professor, but I have found five secret weapons that can make your life easier as a grad student.

1. Fan Mail File – Keep all of your fan mail! It is very easy to dwell on problems and negative feedback. Scan every nice note or letter and save positive emails no matter how short. When you need a quick reminder of your fabulousness (and you will), pick out one and read it.

2. Journal – Write everything down. Make sure that you have a place to keep all of your ideas, notes, and doodles. You don’t have to do full-on GTD. Just don’t try to keep things in your head. There is nothing worse than forgetting a great idea.

3. Slow Cooker – It’s tough to eat healthy meals when you are in a long-term relationship with the library vending machine. Knowing that you have a great meal waiting for you at home can help you to avoid the drive-in. Find slow cooker recipes online. Prep your food the night before and leave the stoneware in the refrigerator. Before you leave in the morning, put the stoneware in the slow cooker and turn it on. When you walk in the door at the end of the day, the kitchen smells great, and dinner is ready!

4. Power Nap – Take a 15-20 minute nap even if you do not feel tired. After a good nap, you will feel revitalized and ready to get back to work. If you can’t take a nap, close your eyes for a few minutes and recharge.

5. Public Library Card – You have a library card for your home institution, but the public library may have a better selection of popular material. You already spend more than enough money on books in your field. Get books, CDs, DVDs, and e-books for free!

These are super effective weapons for me. Find what works for you!