While the idea of entering graduate school may seem intimidating, studying your field at an advanced level can be intellectually rewarding and highly enjoyable. Graduate school can be a high-pressure environment, however. There are ways to help minimize this pressure and make the time spent studying and doing research an enjoyable endeavor that will maximize your employment possibilities.
Graduate students are more likely to receive funding in the hard sciences, such as biology or physics. With the pressure on professors to constantly obtain research grants to fund their research, this pressure is often passed on to their graduate students. One of the most important steps to protect your sanity in graduate school is to check out the disposition of your potential research adviser before committing to do research for him or her. Graduate school can be a wonderful time of intellectual growth and discovery, or it can be a living hell.
The students of the professor may not want to discuss his or her peculiarities, but you may be able to find out the reputation of the person from other students in the department. For degrees that involve laboratory research, some of them require rotations through multiple laboratories. This makes it easier to evaluate the style of a professor of interest.
For people that are thick-skinned, it may be worth pursuing their studies under the tutelage of a highly famous, but difficult professor. There are advantages to studying with professors who are well funded and famous in their fields. They will go to international conferences and discuss their work and generally credit the people who have done the work. This can raise your profile in your field and make it easier for you to find a job when you graduate. Sometimes high-profile researchers can be enjoyable to work with. This helps to make graduate studies a delightful endeavor and makes the process of qualifying for higher-level jobs an easier one.