Published: Aug. 23, 2021

JB BanksAs your dean of students, I’m excited to welcome you and our entire graduate student community to a new academic year! 

Graduate students are an important part of our campus community. From your research and involvement on campus to your interactions with undergraduate students, CU Boulder would not be the same campus without you.

Know that I am here for you and there are resources to help you make this year great. Whether you are just beginning your graduate studies or you are working towards finishing your program, here is some advice as we start a new year.

Take care of yourselves

Graduate students manage many responsibilities. Between academics, teaching, working, maintaining friendships and being a good partner and/or parent, balancing it all can sometimes feel challenging. 

Sometimes it can become easy to put our needs on the backburner when working toward a goal or a deadline. However, we often work best when we are getting enough sleep, eating and exercising regularly and taking mental breaks from our work.

I strongly encourage you to take care of yourselves and prioritize your needs this semester. Find ways to take breaks in your day, even if it’s just to get outside for a few minutes. If it ever becomes too much, students who have paid the mental health fee are eligible for a variety of services from Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS). Visit the Health and Wellness Services website to learn more about resources and services to support your overall well-being.  

Find your community

Take time in these first few weeks of the semester to make connections with fellow graduate students and find your community on campus. Try scheduling a weekly coffee chat with peers, attend events on campus or consider joining a graduate student organization. Staying engaged with your community can help during times when you may feel stressed or overwhelmed.

Consider your future

No matter where you are in your graduate program, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future. Some of you may know what you want to do after you finish your program, and others may have no idea. That’s okay!  However you’re feeling, Career Services can help. I encourage you to take advantage of their services and resources. Meet with a career development advisor, attend career fairs and use online tools like Versatile PhD to explore career options. Career Services also offers job search seminars specifically for graduate students, whether you’re interested in academic or industry jobs.

Graduate Buffs, I’m here to support you and help you have a great year. I’m known as the “dean on the go,” and am often out-and-about on campus meeting with students and graduate students. I hope you’ll stop by my office hours and introduce yourself—I’d love to hear about your experiences and how your semester is going.

Let’s make this a great year!

JB Banks
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs