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Electric Anxiety

Thoughts and Feelings Going Into August

6 posts in this topic

I agree with many others that we should try to keep some sort of post-application dialogue going. I've spent so many hours over the past few months lurking on here that I'm disgusted looking at anything "grad cafe" but unable to let it go. So instead of relating this forum to feelings of anxiety and misery, let's move on to things positive, although I have many new anxieties about starting this fall to discuss too. 

I'm mostly curious to simply hear how everyone is feeling about starting MA or PhD work in a few months. What are you excited about? What are you nervous about? What do you think it's going to be like at your new school with a new department of people? 

I'm feeling super anxious so maybe hearing how everyone else is thinking and feeling will help us relate and that usually helps relieve some of the stress through not feeling like we are going about this new endeavor alone. 

I am quite introverted so putting myself out there and getting involved with my department is my goal in order that I not only avoid getting overwhelmed, but I hope to create new friendships both for productivity sake and for psychological health reasons. 

Now that I've shared a little about how I'm feeling, how are you feeling? :)

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I'm very excited. I've been out of school for four years and my job (legal transcription) isn't exactly invigorating. I'm quite eager to do something I care about again. Also somewhat anxious since I'm coming in with only a BA and I'm scared the profs won't like my papers or I'll get behind on the work, but I think the real anxiety will only hit come August when I move to Boulder :D 

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Posted (edited)

I'm excited to move to a different city and dive into my MA program. It's been three years since I've been in school, and like @Ibycus I'm looking forward to doing something I find meaningful after years of less-than-meaningful jobs.

I am going into this a little bit older than some, and that had caused me some concern when I was applying, though it concerns me a little less now. Still, I know juggling  TA responsibilities and my coursework will be demanding, and it will be difficult to be in a different city from my partner. Nonetheless, the excitement, at least right now, is stronger than the anxiety!

Edited by hector549

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Context: I'm on a year-break between my MA and PhD. Lost someone close to me in the middle of my MA program-- that it threw me for a loop is an understatement. But I finished the program and then was shocked to find that I got into a PhD program. 

"Super anxious" is an accurate description. I think I will get more excited as I learn more about the specific classes I'll be taking (seeing reading lists, syllabi, etc.), getting to know faculty and students, and so on... But right now I am extremely anxious. Worried about moving to a place where I know zero people, far away from all my family and friends. I'm at a weird moment in my life where the idea of "Hey! Let's abandon everything we know and start over in a brand new place!" sounds less than exciting. But, having said that, I know that the thrill isn't gone in regards to academia because I still find myself nerding out about CFPs, new monographs, conference, and journals. Like most things, I'm sure there will be a transition period where everything is excruciating, but I know there will also be unique opportunities that I don't presently have in my dull 8-5 job. 

For one thing, I am ecstatic to be returning to an environment where I'll be surrounded by people who not only respect my identity but many of them share it. I won't have to constantly explain what I mean by 'non-binary pronouns' and the like, for instance. That will definitely be a relief. I'm also excited to try out an idea I've had for a while, which is a queer/crip/fat health & fitness group (kinda non-existent where I am now); it's much more likely to be successful in the place that I'm moving to and will hopefully provide me with a blueprint in case I want to start similar projects/groups less queer/crip/fat-friendly places in the future. The sort of outside-the-mainstream circumstances of my life will be much more mainstream while I'm in this doctoral program. 

@Electric Anxiety, how are you hoping to engage people and make friends? What kinds of things do you like to do, especially to maintain your (physical, emotional, spiritual) well-being? As an INFJ (myers-briggs type), I definitely hear you about wanting and needing community, but the journey to achieving that requires 'putting myself out there.' 

@hector549 re: being in a different city from your partner-- me too! :( Do you have any ideas for how to cope with that? Skypeing and visits are great, but I'm used to be around my partner every day, he's kinda essential to the way I decompress from a stressful day... Wondering how I'll deal with being far away from him all the time. *gulp*

p.s. congrats to everyone on getting into your respective programs!

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6 hours ago, Skyride Season said:

 

@hector549 re: being in a different city from your partner-- me too! :( Do you have any ideas for how to cope with that? Skypeing and visits are great, but I'm used to be around my partner every day, he's kinda essential to the way I decompress from a stressful day... Wondering how I'll deal with being far away from him all the time. *gulp*

p.s. congrats to everyone on getting into your respective programs!

That's a good question; I've been trying to figure it out too. We'll likely spend the winter and summer breaks together, which should make the time apart a little easier to deal with, especially if we're also able to visit each other at least a few times a semester, which we should be able to do. It's a long drive (about 8 hours), but an easy enough flight, although that could get expensive, I suppose. In any case, it will be an adjustment from seeing each other daily.

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Thank you all for sharing! I read everything days ago but find it difficult to know how to respond, especially when I can relate to so many of the feelings being discussed here. 

@Skyride Season I wish I knew how to answer these questions, but at the moment I find it difficult to actually take care of myself because of crippling anxiety and sometimes depression. The excitement of moving somewhere new and starting my life again I hope will give me a jump start into discovering ways to reach mental stability, at least to where I can manage better. But the more I find out about all the responsibilities required, and dealing with learning so many new things all at once, I begin to feel overwhelmed again.

I also don't like to or feel the need to "put myself out there". I just let the necessities of life direct me towards people and hope I make friends along the way. 

I can relate to so much you said above Skyride it's crazy! It makes me feel better knowing I'm not alone, and I'm sure we will both find our path and figure things out once we are there. That is if we don't have anxiety induced strokes beforehand haha. 

There is so much more I could respond to but there is no need when it appears we are all feeling, thinking, and dealing with similar problems, and some problems purely of our own. 

I also congratulate everyone who is starting a new program in the fall, or simply just moving forward in life in some productive way. I wish you all the best!

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