Dear New Grad Student . . .

Danielle Hughes

Dear New Grad Student,

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS, and welcome to Tarleton State University! You made the right choice! Tarleton is a unique experience in that the professors and staff truly have your best interest in mind. I started my Tarleton journey in the fall of 2013 as a freshman. Time and time again, I have had professors go far out of their way to make sure that I got what I needed to succeed.

I recently graduated with my master’s degree, and wanted to share some helpful tips to hopefully smooth your transition, and ensure that you have as great of an experience here as I did.

Get to Know Your Advisor:  Even after advising, stay in contact with your advisor. Let them help you choose the best order of your classes. Some classes are only available in the fall or spring, so it is important that they see and approve your plan to ensure you aren’t caught off guard.

Getting Enrolled:  Almost your entire process can be done online through myGateway. Under the DuckTrax link, you can see what classes are available, when, and where. You can also register for them, and pay for your schooling – all at one stop! If you need to accept Financial Aid or Scholarships, that can be done here as well.

Financial Aid/Scholarships: Grad students at TSU have scholarship funding and financial aid opportunities available. There is a general scholarship application that you need to make sure you fill out. In addition to the general scholarship application, some scholarships have extra questions that are required to be considered for the award, so be sure and check that closely.

Student Resources & Services: There are so many resources available to Tarleton students that I never would have thought about. In grad school, if you’re a good writer, you’re in luck! If not, don’t flee the ship quite yet. While grad school brings more reading and writing than I could have ever expected, the online databases and writing center have been the saving grace of both my grades, and my sanity. Also, don’t forget to download Microsoft Office. It is FREE to you!!

If you are near Stephenville, you really ought to take advantage of these services—you’re already paying for them through your tuition.

  • The Rec: It is a free gym membership! If you’re anything like me, you’ve got some stress and some fast food that needs to be run off.
  • The Library: In the library, there are laptops you can check-out, study rooms for quiet studying, rooms to practice presentations in, and you get $5 of printing that is covered in your tuition/fees.
  • Health Services: The on-campus clinic provides the student with health evaluations when you are sick or injured, and some prescriptions.
  • Counseling: Provides a student with counseling services with the promise of 100% confidentiality.
  • Math Tutoring: The math clinic in Room 203 of the Mathematics building offers 1 on 1, or group tutoring at no cost. There are graduate level teaching assistants who should be able to help with upper-level mathematics classes.
  • Activities: Your TexanCard gets you into Tarleton State University athletic events. Also, Tarleton has numerous clubs, organizations, and leadership programs, many of which are open to graduate students. Check them out here.
  • Student Discounts: Museums, restaurants, Spotify, Amazon, Insurance companies, retail stores, and everything in between offers discounts with your Texan cards and/or student email address! Seek those out, and take advantage of them!

Graduate assistantships are a source of employment and great experience for grad students! I worked as a Graduate Assistant for the College of Graduate Studies. Through that opportunity, I was able to network with staff and faculty across campus, attend conferences, assist on a committee, and experience my first professional job as I was able to connect what I learned inside the classroom to the real world. Find out more about graduate assistantships here.

Of course, when it came time to begin my graduate program, I could not have imagined doing it anywhere else. When you are at Tarleton, you are not just another student—you are a part of the Texan family.

~ Danielle

Danielle Hughes

This post was written by Danielle Hughes. Danielle holds a master’s degree in Management and Leadership and now serves Tarleton graduate students through her role in Graduate Studies.

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