We hope that your summer is going well and you were able to enjoy a rest in July just as much as us! Now we are back to work and ready for action! We at GradHacker have been so busy with thinking about the future, getting new authors and reading through amazing forthcoming posts that we completely forgot our own birthday. We are a little over a year old now, and have had such an amazing year! For those who are new to the blog, we started as a bootcamp to introduce grad students to technology. Some of us involved in the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative at Michigan State University realized the importance of technology and how much easier it made our lives. We shared this information at a day long bootcamp for other grad students. At the end of the day, we realized that there was so much more to share- not just about technology, but about other life hacks to make grad school a little bit easier to manage. Further, we saw the need for a broader grad student community not just at our university, but at all higher ed institutions.
Since starting the blog in June 2011, we have been highly active online producing a wide range of content three times a week, engaged with universities from across the globe, been able to attend numerous conferences to spread the GradHacker gospel, ran another bootcamp on social media in grad school, started up our podcasts, and formed a wonderful partnership with Inside Higher Ed. We've also gained a number of new great permanent authors and had guest authors from around the world.
Above all, we've have wonderful and loyal readers who continue to give us amazing comments and open wonderful discussions about life as a grad student. These pieces of advice and observations come from readers at all stages of academic life, as well as those outside of it. Having a stream of discussion from professors, academic staff, undergraduates and professionals has created the community we so hoped for, and look forward to expanding.
New posts we begin this Wednesday, so until then check out our top 5 greatest hits from our first year!
Banishing Impostor Syndrome  by Andrea Zellner brought up feelings that most grad students have- that we aren't quite good enough or that we're just faking it and we'll be found out one day. This has been a recurring theme in many of our posts, and continues to be a problem we tend to suffer from.
Narrating Your Professional Bio  by Jen Sano-Franchini gave us an outline on how to write about ourselves, a shockingly difficult task. Based off a comment from a previous post, it provides a skeleton for fleshing out and has been a popular resource for grads.
Rules for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse  by Katy Meyers goes over some simple rules for lasting through your first year based on rules from the movie Zombieland. With all the advice you get about your first year, this post simplifies it into a few basic tenants that will aid survival.
Don't Keep Your Head Down  by Alex Galarza discusses the benefits of doing a digital dissertation in a world that is increasingly online but conversely is nervous about the problems of sharing. Based on a message from the AHA, he notes the benefits of the digital dissertation.
Grad School Guilt  by Terry Brock is another perpetual discussion carried out by grad hacker fans and authors. Even in the process of writing these posts there is guilt. Embracing it and recognizing it is important, as well as stepping back from school and relaxing.