Information for Graduate Students
Graduate students face a number of demands which might potentially impact their mental health and wellbeing. We offer graduate students the same range of resources available to undergraduate students including: individual counseling, couples counseling, group counseling, relaxation and stress reduction rooms, and psychiatric referrals.
It is not uncommon for graduate students to report difficulties in a number of areas. If you are concerned about your mental health, please contact the counseling center at (443)885-3130. You can also stop by the counseling center in Carter Grant Wilson 202 during our hours of operation. (M-F, 8am-5pm). If you are in crisis, please use our walk-in hours Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm.
Although graduate students might experience similar concerns to undergraduates, there are some experiences that are unique to graduate school:
Adapting to new academic demands: Graduate level academics tend to be rigorous, and require more intense and focused writing and research. Graduate students tend to have more independence when developing their research interests and working on assignments. Classes themselves may be more self-directed than some students are used to.
Campus Life: It is not uncommon for graduate students to feel less connected to their campus. Many students are highly involved with their department or academic program; however, they might not be as involved with larger campus life.
Taking on new roles: Many graduate students are taking on new roles as research or teaching assistants. Many graduate students report feelings of imposter syndrome. It can take time before students feel competent in these roles.
Setting boundaries: There are a multitude of opportunities in graduate school and many demands on graduate students' time. It may be necessary to communicate your boundaries and clarify what is a reasonable expectation and what is not. Learning how to set these limits and negotiate expectations is a difficulty many graduate students face.
More Academic Intensity: Graduate level academics tend to be rigorous, and require more intense and focused writing and research, especially when completing a masters' thesis or doctoral dissertation. This is coupled with more autonomy and independence when completing assignments. It is not uncommon for graduate students to doubt their academic competence during this time.
Academic benchmarks: Preparing for comprehensive exams, thesis or dissertation proposals and defenses, and job interviews are all stressful events for graduate students.
Personal Life and Relationships: Graduate studies require intense mental and emotional focus. It can be difficult to juggle the demands of personal relationships, work, and school commitments. Relationships might feel strained or graduate students might feel pulled in many different directions.
Practicing basic self-care: With so many demands on students' time, self-care can fall by the wayside. It is important that students maintain regular sleep habits, eat healthy, well-balanced meals, connect with others and save time for activities they enjoy. Self-care does not necessarily mean getting massages or facials. Self-care is about discipline, setting limits, and making decisions for your long-term wellness.