I have a lot of friends going to grad school all of a sudden, which is super exciting and makes me want to go back and do it all over again (well, kind of)! My grad program was only a year long and really flew by (so cliche, but true). A few things that got me through (other than coffee, of course)?
Workouts: I used the university gym almost every day and also loved taking classes off campus when I had extra time/money. I learned that Flywheel classes in Philly were only $18 with the student discount (they’re generally about $30), so that made for a fun indulgence every now and then. As much as I like listening to my own music/thoughts while I work out, there’s nothing like the energy that comes with a group exercise class, and Flywheel really helps me torch some major calories. It was also nice to leave campus every now and then and head downtown for the class.
Socializing: This obviously varies from program to program, but your grad school experience likely isn’t going to be nearly as social as your time in undergrad was (they call college the best four years of your life for a reason!). However, I was pleasantly surprised that I still had ample free time to spend with friends from my program. I loved hosting small groups of people at my apartment or exploring the city with a friend or two. In fact, three of my grad school friends and I are still in a group chat that we use daily! Even though we were in a one year program, people still wanted to get to know each other (not to mention that the friends you make in grad school will always be valuable professional contacts down the line!). Don’t expect the same go, go, go experience of event after event after event that you had in college, but don’t lock yourself up in your room/the library and give up on meeting anyone, either!
Nesting: This may not be for everyone, but taking the time to make your apartment or dorm room feel like home can really improve your quality of life! I knew that I would likely only be staying in my apartment for a year and would leave after the program was over (which is pretty much what happened), but I still wanted to come home every day and feel relaxed and like I was living somewhere that was more than just temporary. I also did the bulk of my studying in my room and really liked having a nice desk setup and a big kitchen table for projects–making a space practical is key!