The transition from undergraduate to graduate studies can be quite challenging. Gone are the lecture filled days of old. Instead, self-directed learning is the basis of all graduate pedagogy.
When diving in to such a novel arena, remember one over used catch phrase “learn from your mistakes”. Bench work is about doing. It’s about taking the first step. It’s about failing the first time….the second…and maybe even the third…. It’s something most undergraduate students aren’t used to. The arena of grad school is sparse in terms of triumphs and littered with failure. From an undergraduate point of view this may seem morose. However, the opportunity to fail and most importantly learn from failure is one of the greatest opportunities provided by academia at the graduate level. Failure as an undergrad is peril. It’s devastating. It’s shameful. It’s embarrassing. Failing in a grad school is just another Monday. The concept is freeing. The opportunity to test theories, ideas, notions and have them crumble in front of you is brilliant. Figuring out what went wrong is learning. It’s critical thinking. It’s self-reflection. It’s Grad Life.