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Ultimate Study Guide for Doctoral Students

Is this post going to be as adorable as those Back-2-School commercials featuring the Cool Kid Crew singing and dancing with the ultra cool moms in the background that buy them Crayola instead of Rose Art?

Hmmmm, let’s think…uh DUH!

Actually this post will be LOADS better! Why? Simply because I’m way cooler than any crayon, marker, index card, and Trapper Keeper too!

…Okay, I’m kidding! This post will, in fact, be much better yes, but only because it’s JAM packed with study tips for college students – especially those pursuing their doctoral degrees!

So if you’re ready to start this semester off right with all A’s in sight, continue reading below!



Squad goals are cute, but squads that HAVE goals are even cuter! And chances are, those in your cohort have some serious goals – one’s they are actively pursuing alongside you!


Developing friendships with these individuals will benefit you in so many ways. Yes, you can copy their notes if you dare decide to ditch class, but more importantly, you can use their intellect, ambition, and determination to feed off of and foster your own academic matriculation.

Without God placing all of these uber cool peeps (pictured here) in my cohort and my program, I simply wouldn’t be where I am today


Highlighting…you mean my cheek bones or my notes? Either way, I have always found that awaking refreshed, soaking in the bubbly (bathtub bubbles…not wine! 😛 ), and applying my favorite mascara with bronzer to match all aid in my study habits!


Studying in my PJ’s, scarf tied around my tendrils, and lip balm only makes me want to curl back under the covers and continue my slumber. However, etch-a-sketching my face sikes me into thinking I have places to go and plenty people to see – and doing so without my E.L.F. lashes would simply be sinister!


“Did you realize that you’re a champion in their eyes?”

“Yes, I did!” – Kanye West

Continue being a champion in their eyes…just do it while they are sleeping! What I mean is, choose to study at the weirdest hours imaginable! Mine happen to be from 11pm to 4am each night.


Now before you freak-a-leak, hear me out! I only chose these hours because the day is done – everyone is asleep, your celly is dry, social media updates have simmered down, and shopping centers are closed. Studying during these hours helped me focus, kept me from texting and calling my friends (see #1), and making runs to Caliche’s!



This one goes without saying. I’m sure y’all already know that once you leave class, immediately reading the material assigned becomes routine. However, since most graduate courses have a tendency to meet only once a week, I’d like to encourage you all to either quickly scan or reread the material at least once a day or at least a few hours prior to the next class. This refreshes your memory on the topics covered and prepares you for discussions while making you look better than your peers…just saying! 😉


Don’t look at it as sucking up because honestly, it isn’t. Getting in good with your professors, dean, department head, and even admin assistants all prove to be quite beneficial in the long run.

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 These folks will not only aid in your understanding of your material and point you in the right direction in case you need more assistance, but they will also provide you with their own tips and tricks, books, and software programs sure to help you succeed.


Anything bringing you more agony than that econometrics course needs to be purged and tossed STAT! Pursuing your education, living away from home, and juggling a job at the same time is like 14 lbs of extra weight on your back. Why would you wanna pack on 30 more?


Rid yourself of every and anything causing you to stress, so your focus can remain on your priorities…like passing that oral exam or defending your dissertation! 😀



Stop overdosing on those 5 hour energy drinks. And that mocha-choca latta…to chug or not to chug? More like CHUCK! Chuck that latte out your window and get your rest, my Studious Shimmies! (I mean it too!)

You don’t know how many peers I came across basically running on exhaustive caffeine fumes. When your body says “I’m tired, feed me, etc.” LISTEN – don’t drown out its pleas…instead, LISTEN! Why, you ask? Well, because getting your rest helps clear your mind so you can cognitively understand your material much better! With more rest, you’re wide awake, alert, and ready to seize the day while holding your crow’s feet at bay! I mean, what’s not to  and adore about that!?!



Okay, I admit, I’m NOT a gym-junkie! As a matter of fact, I stay as far away as I possibly can from the place. But I do belly dance though! This keeps me active, maintains my ideal weight, and allows me to focus on what’s important once all of that adrenaline is pumping from a good glitter-filled sweat!


I can’t believe I’m chowing down on some Teddy Grahams as I’m telling you this, but believe me when I say that keeping healthy eating habits – being lean on meat, making your own smoothies, keeping kale as your partner in krime, and cutting back on sweets – contributes to your academic success!

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We already know how eating the wrong things can bloat our bodies, swell us up, make us feel sluggish, and even sleepy too. And who wants to study under those conditions? Certainly not me!! So keep your health and eating habits in check by making health conscious decisions while shopping at your nearest Wally World or Natural Grocers!


Now be sure to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe I’ve covered everything there is to know about successfully studying and retaining all those notes you took in PSYCH101!


If my resourceful Ultimate Study Guide is missing something, however, be sure to list it below while you’re waiting in the Financial Aid line! Also, share what you’re currently studying too! Seen any cuties on campus? Share those tales as well!

Remember to Live Life, Beautifully 

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