I have thought about what helped me to survive and even thrive through graduate program. In retrospect, I can identify three main things that got me through the program. First, do not compare yourself with others, especially your fellow students. So on the first day of my graduate program there were about 20 students in the classroom. They were my classmates in my master’s program. Each of us took turns introducing ourselves and more than half of them were Americans, of course these American students spoke wonderful English. When it was my time, I just said my name and which country I was from. I couldn’t express more than that. I felt really small and I wanted to medically disappear from the room because I was shame. At the moment. I regretted that why I didn’t improve my English speaking skills before. After the introduction session was over, it looks like everyone in the room was better than me. They had more experience, spoke better English, got their bachelor’s degree from a top university, Came from rich family, were better looking and taller, etc. So I felt small and hopeless it seemed impossible to compete with them. On that day when I returned home, I realized that comparing myself to others was meaningless and useless. It would only hurt me. I ate up my motivation and energy. I decided, instead, to compare my current version to my past version. I was determined to become a better version of myself every day. This is the reason why this channel name is better PhD. Each of you should be better today than you were yesterday And better tomorrow than today. So you can become a better PhD students and better faculty member with PhD today than yesterday and tomorrow than today. Only compare your current and future version of yourself to the past version of yourself. The focus and the center of your life should be on you, not on others. Second, belief in yourself. If you believe you can complete your masters or PhD program with great success, it is more likely that you can achieve what you believe. On the other hand, if you do not believe in yourself, or if you question your ability to finish your program This can also come true. No one in my family got a graduate degree and honestly no one in my family ever studied in another country. My parents were barely able to make ends meet. A professor who knew me in my undergraduate school actually told me that someone like me who does not have money and backgrounds and didn’t graduate from a top university has very very slim chance to get a PhD or even become a professor. The professor even mentioned that do not waste my time to attempt to get a PhD and become a professor. so I often thought about what he told me I decided to choose to prove that he was wrong. All of these negative circumstances were tough to overcome. However, I did not have a choice to go back. I spent three years saving money to study in America. I had multiple part-time jobs and saved every penny. My strong desire gave me strong faith in myself. This belief helped to get me through the program. Last but not least, exercise everyday. I was not a fan of exercise. When I was a brand-new graduate students, I was often stressed out and would feel under the weather and frequently. After doing some information research, I learned that exercise could be a solution. Exercise could improve my brain power and relieve stress. So eventually I tried a few different kinds of exercises. After some experimentation, I chose to walk from school to home every day and play tennis once a week. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to get to school from my apartment by bus and 40 minutes by walk. I took a bus to school in the morning and walked home after classes. This saved gues money and I was pretty sweaty by the time I got home. Then I ran about two miles around my neighborhood. After that I took a shower and taking that cold shower was the best part of the exercise. When I took my shower I felt that I was washing away all my stress as I watched the sweat off my body. I felt reenergized and calm. I also played tennis every week usually every Thursday or Friday evening for just a couple of hours. Hitting the tennis ball was so therapeutic. These regular workouts were so beneficial for my body and mind. After each exercise, I could clear my mind so I could focus on my goals. I don’t think I could have survived graduate school without this exercises. I still maintain a regular workout habits. Pick an exercise if you like and do it every day just for 20 or 30 minutes or so? Take a walk on campus or your neighborhood in next few days. You will see the difference of your body and mind. You can concentrate your study even more after exercise. I briefly talked about my three survival secrets of my graduate program – quick recap 1. do not compare yourself with others. Compare the current version of you with the past version of you and make an effort to become a better version of yourself everyday. 2. believe in yourself that you will complete the program with a great success. 3. Exercise every day for the health of your body and mind. What is your secret weapon with survivor in your graduate program? Please share your survival tips in the comment section below If the content I covered today was beneficial to you and please click the like button and subscribe to this channel So I will be back with more tips and see you soon. And as always, thank you so much for watching!