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  1. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to TakeruK in friends in grad school   
    In addition to what everyone said here, I think it's a lot easier to make friends in the first ~4 months of a new program, when everyone else in your cohort is new and friendless and looking for friends too. So, every time I go to a new place, I force myself to be a little bit more social and outgoing than usual. Say "yes" to almost every social event in the first few months. I would even say that you should "overdo" it a little bit and commit yourself to more social events than you would normally want to. I say this because I am normally a person that likes to hang back and test the waters slowly whenever I am in a new or unfamiliar situation.
    However, I don't think this is a good way to make friends in grad school, from my experience. If you start saying no to things, people won't invite you to other things (that you might enjoy even more). Once you've established yourself as someone who will go out and do things with your colleagues and that you are a fun person to be around, you'll automatically be invited to future outings and people will accept your invites to things too. After the first 4-6 months or so, once you already know them, you can decline more invitations and people will be understanding and still invite you to future things (as long as you don't completely shut down your social life!)
    In general, this is part of the advice that I like to give to new grad students and that is, in the first 4-6 months, you should prioritize the "life" part of the "work-life" balance. When you are just starting, it's the perfect time to commit yourself to things like social events, joining clubs, starting sports. I say this because if you want to commit to 50+ hours per week of research and coursework right away, you will feel tired and drained and not want to do anything else that is good for the "life" part. But if you start early and make it part of your routine, whether it's going to the gym, going for a hike, seeing movies on weekends, going to the beach etc. it will be a lot easier to balance with the "work" part if you ramp up the "work" part later.
  2. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to Tall Chai Latte in friends in grad school   
    Feeling lonely in grad school is a common thing across all disciplines. I moved from the east coast to midwest for grad school, and my first year at this very cold and snowy town was pretty miserable. I only made maybe one friend during my first year here! It definitely felt like I didn't belong, I guess people could tell I'm not a midwesterner. 
    But after year two, things started to improve. I joined a lab and started interacting with a group of people on a daily basis. I also got to know their friends, and their friends of friends... Social circles expand over time. It was some time during my second year that I felt 'ok, I think I have a place here'. I understand how you feel, been there felt that... But it will pass. 
  3. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to newguy2 in friends in grad school   
    First, a little background for everyone.
    I'm currently a 2nd year grad student in engineering. As I am getting a masters, this will be my last year before I graduate. I went out of state for graduate school, moving from my hometown in AZ to VA as my older brother is getting his PhD here. I figured it would be easier to make the transition away from home. While I have learned so much from my time in grad school and grateful for the opportunity to grow both academically and personally, it hasn't gone the way I wanted it to, particularly from a social standpoint.
    I spent much of last year without many friends and found myself spending many weekends in my apartment alone. In general, I just find that grad students aren't particularly receptive to social interaction, espeically since most are so absorbed into classes and research. I tried speaking with people within my research cohort. They are also pretty quiet and since most of them are international students, they typically hang with people of their respective ethnicities (not true for all, but have seen it with others). To this day, I have about 3 people whom I would consider as friends, all from which I took classes with. We never really have time to hang out on a consistent basis, given the hectic schedule we all have. I have hung out with my older brother and his cohort, but they seem to talk about work and research all the time, so I feel out of place with them. I tried joining clubs but now that I am much more involved in research, it's hard to keep a consistent commitment. Easy to say that grad school has been one of the most loniest experiences of my life.
    I have plenty of friends back home and it seemed easier to make friends there, maybe because it's within my comfort zone. I went back home this summer for an internship and made so many friends on the job, but it's a different story when I get back to school. I guess I'm frustrated with the fact I have not been able to fully adjusted to life outside of home, especially after a whole year. Maybe it shouldn't matter since I only have a year left and I will be moving again to who knows where.
    Has anyone else experience something similar after moving away from their hometown for graduate school? I would definitely like to hear other perspectives.
  4. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to bsharpe269 in Loneliness in Grad School   
    Anyone here found ways to handle the lonliness that comes from zero time to socialize?
    I am doing my MS and will be applying to PhD programs this fall so in addition to 30 hours a week of research, I need top grades. I LOVE my research and classes but I find myself studying/working nonstop. I really dont have time to both hangout with friends or family and get all of my research done. I live with my fiance but lots of days (like now) he goes out with his family or friends since the alternative is to sit and stare at me study. I don't blame him of course but it doesnt help my lonliness.
    I am probably in an even more difficult situation since I live an hour from campus so I only go to school on the days I have classes or research meetings. Over the summer thats only 3 days a week. I study at home otherwise since I dont want to waste 2 hours of what could be study time in the car. That also means that I don't live near other students. Otherwise, doing study groups might be a great way to combine socializing with studying. I have considered going to study at coffee shops since it might be a good opportunity to meet students at the community college in my small town or writers or something. My ideal situation would be to find other people to sit around and study with so I can get my stuff done but also not be lonely. I do want to add that I'm not depressed or anything (since this could be taken that way)... I just don't get as much human interaction as I would like.
    Do other grad students deal with similar feelings? Is this just normal stuff to get through or do most people hangout with friends in the evenings, even if it means coming to research meetings without everything done... I don't really want to do that. Any advice?
  5. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to RNadine21 in Grad. School Supplies?   
    I suppose it depends on your subject. I'm graduating from a well-known research university and all my TAs just wore jeans/shorts and tees, basically what everyone else wears (maybe sneakers if it was something like Organic Chemistry). The only time I ever saw my TAs dressed up was if they had something else to do later that required nicer attire. I do however plan on dressing up a tad just because I look young to begin with and I want to set myself apart from my students....but that's mostly to satisfy my "OMG I don't look old enough!" issue.
  6. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to VictorianTess in Grad. School Supplies?   
    My take is, dress up for classes that you are teaching, and wait and see for classes that you are attending. I think that it kind of depends on the school as to how dressy your classes are, but you should probably dress in a way that distinguishes you from your students when you are actually teaching.
  7. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to monkeyface in Grad. School Supplies?   
    ok, this may sound ridiculous, but what about clothing? as a TA, will i be expected to look semi-sharp? i went to a small undergrad-only school so i'm clueless here...
  8. Downvote
    veggiez reacted to Postbib Yeshuist in Grad. School Supplies?   
    Something else that occurs to me is to look into a Dropbox account (www.dropbox.com). It's basically online storage, but rather advanced (and 2Gb for free). It'll keep all your computers synced if you install the software, but I find it indispensable for grad work for two reasons: (1) It keeps versions of papers up to 30 days, which is great for going back to older revisions, and (2) you can access it from any internet-enabled computer. It basically eliminates the need for a flash drive and you can't lose it, etc. 2Gb might seems small, but there are ways to get it up to 5Gb for free pretty easily.

    I know, maybe not what you were originally thinking, but I figured there's no harm in putting it out there.
  9. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to Postbib Yeshuist in Grad. School Supplies?   
    One thought that comes to mind immediately is resource citation software (Endnote, Bookends, etc). You probably already have one, but worth mentioning just in case.

    A neat novelty that I love are "Book Darts." Check www.bookdarts.com to see what I'm talking about. They're really pretty amazing for saving the spot for important passages, etc.
  10. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to musichistorygeek in Good academic planners?   
    I love the Quo Vadis Textagenda planner. It's small enough to fit in my medium-sized purse and gives you a full page for each day, which is handy if (like me) you procrastinate by making long lists of minute things in order to feel more accomplished.
  11. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to 123hardasABC in I'm sad. Can I let out steam here?   
    I don't know if it's appropriate to talk about it here. I have no one to talk to right now. I'm probably gonna get downvoted to oblivion but hey, I need to let out a few words so whatever, why not?
    I should be celebrating my acceptances. I should be happy it's the holidays. But not. I'm sad. It's so "high school" to say this but I was recently broken up with...but hey! It's Christmas time! I have to keep it to myself and put on a happy face for everyone to see  . Now I feel like I'm facing the future alone. I have to move cross country next fall, alone. 
    I'm really fucking terrified of starting graduate school now. I'm looking at moving nearly 3000 miles away from home by myself. Why so far away?, you may wonder. Because I wanted change. I wanted to get as far away from my home state as possible. When I was applying, I was confident and had a good support system backing me up. But now I feel like the support system is crumbing, and my god, I'm really scared. 
    How's it like moving to a new place on your own, when you're alone?
    Hopefully someone out here can relate and help me out. If not, thanks for listening and have a happy new year.
  12. Downvote
    veggiez reacted to nugget in Finding a husband in graduate school.   
    You will be very busy as a graduate student. I'm not sure how much free time you will have to date - there may be some free time but certainly not a lot. You probably already know that the vast majority of people in social work are women so you would probably need to expand your horizons outside of your program. Are you sure you want to do this degree at this time in your life? Doing a master's degree is a lot of work and you may be disapointed when you discover how little free time you'll have for dating and courtship. Developing a relationship to the point of marriage typically takes time (a few years for most people, but there are exceptions for sure), so if your primary focus is to find a future husband perhaps you should entertain the idea of whether or not you'd want to do your degree after you are married or when you are engaged.
  13. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to LittleDarlings in Finding a husband in graduate school.   
    The thing is I know I want to get into this field no matter what and I have to do it now, I mean realistically if I don't I have no idea what I would be doing this time next year because I can't really find anything with my undergrad degree.  I know it is predominately women which kind of sucks lol but I feel like I will just be forced to make friends and get out there.  I just don't know what will happen to me if I don't try.. That probably makes no sense.  If I don't find someone in grad school then what? I am going to enter into the real world, having to work and then how will I have time to date? So to me it is kind of now or never.  
  14. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to LittleDarlings in Finding a husband in graduate school.   
    So I have to admit that as excited as I am to be applying to graduate school for social work a lot of my focus is on the idea of finding a serious relationship while in school.  I am 22 and looking to start my MSW program in the Fall 14, I graduated from college and thought that I would meet someone then, I didn't.  Now I am 22 and single and haven't really had a serious relationship, while all my friends are getting engaged and having kids, I just want that.  I want my graduate degree too for sure but I want a relationship.  Here is the thing, I am only applying to programs far from home (University of Kentucky, OSU, and University of Pitt) which will put me in a new place and force me to get to know people and make friends. I am afraid, what if I don't make friends or meet someone.  A friend of mine went to Western Kentucky and said he met his gf when she was getting her Masters in Clinical Psych and he was in Engineering. I am just freaking out on so many levels, on top of all that I have a disability and that kind of makes dating much harder because I don't fully feel confident.  Any personal experiences? How can I leave grad school with not only a Masters but a MRS. Degree too?  
  15. Downvote
    veggiez reacted to Human_ in Dealing with Unprofessional Student Emails   
    Email decorum makes no sense. It's what happens when old people have to adopt a new technology. I don't see any point in manually writing a signature when the receiver can clearly see who sent the email before even opening the email. An auto-signature with name/title/information works well to abide by decorum without conforming to awkward email protocol. I hope these inane conventions change when a more tech-savvy generation comes to power.
    Generalize more plz. 
    You're a TA, yet you act like you've won a nobel prize. Try removing the stick up your ass.
    For all things: USA > Canada

  16. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to TakeruK in Dealing with Unprofessional Student Emails   
    I think calling a PhD by the title of "Ms." instead of "Dr." is actually a pretty rude act (intentional or not). "Ms." is a title. If you are going to take the time to use a title, why not use the professional one earned by the professor instead of one that refers to the fact that someone is a woman (and could potentially imply that she does not have a PhD). An exception would be cases where everyone, regardless of degree, is "Mr." or "Ms." and I think this post is important to read: http://science-professor.blogspot.com/2009/01/just-call-me-f.html
  17. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to rockbender in First years - how are we doing?   
    I hate to be a downer, but I'm actually having a really hard time adjusting to the program... I keep telling myself to "give it some time" but I started in June and things haven't improved all that much. My dept has some "Brilliant Scientists", but the teaching quality is incredibly poor! It's mostly old men rambling incoherently about whatever they feel like discussing. I feel like I am not getting much out of this semester at all. Maybe I just came in with too high expectations…?
    My relationship with my advisor is awkward. He's a nice guy and everything, but I just don't know what he expects from me. I'm pretty sure that whenever we meet I just sound like a buffoon… My research (what little I get to do) is basically adding a few more data points to something that someone else has already done (and published). I have a hard time justifying the work to myself. What is the new insight that my data will actually add? It doesn't help that one of the "Brilliant Scientists", when told what I was working on, told me that he had solved that problem 20 years ago and I was wasting my time. My advisor will talk about a bunch of projects that I "could" do, but when it comes to making decisions or plans or anything, really, he just leaves me hanging. I've thought about maybe switching advisors, but from what I hear, the other options aren't much better...
    Beyond that… there is a lab group and a focus group and a division etc, circles upon circles of people that theoretically I should be able to connect with and learn from … but I don't feel part of the community at all. Maybe part of the problem is that the first-years are sequestered in a separate (dilapidated) building from EVERYONE ELSE. Maybe it's an institutional thing, in which all the "Brilliant Scientists" don't want to waste time on the new people (one older grad student told me not to expect any attention from anyone until my master's defense, and he seemed to think it was a right/fair policy). And yes, admittedly part of the problem is that I am just not the most talkative/extroverted kind of person… but other students in my cohort have noticed the stand-offish-ness of the dept as well. The one saving grace is that my cohort is amazing. I'm really grateful that we have gotten to be good friends.
    Well, sorry again to be so negative. It seems like people are generally enjoying their first years! But I am having a very different experience, and I thought I would reach out to see if there were other people out there who were feeling the same way...
  18. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to i.am.me in How Did You Deal with the Stress/Anxiety/Sadness of Moving to a New State?   
    ^LOL yeah I am  I been dealing with the cold okay...it's the snow that's leaving me cloistered. I've learned that I need to schedule my holidays more accordingly to spend as little free time alone as possible when I'm outside of school - I haven't talked to another human being...in like...two weeks since all my friends went home. 
    I think I need to fall in love with something, like a hobby, or maybe a person haha to make times like these more bearable. 
  19. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to Tall Chai Latte in How Did You Deal with the Stress/Anxiety/Sadness of Moving to a New State?   
    I moved from MD to MI. I didn't really like my new city at first (during the interview as well as my entire first year of grad school), but I found a couple new hobbies I could engage myself in, and new friends I made (which means growing more distant from my old friends back home) helped me transition into my new life in the new state. It took a while, but it worked out.
    It sort of feels like finding something new and interesting you can do to take your mind off of being homesick. After a while, you'll get used to the new life. We all adjust at some point. 
  20. Downvote
    veggiez reacted to mars2013 in I had a great fall break!   
    My fall break was really relaxing. I got to see my friend coming from Korea, I did some homework, and I cleaned my room...
  21. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to dazedandbemused in Tomorrow   
    Okay, I'm really confused about the point of all the threads that you make...are you asking for advice? Input? Solidarity? Group sharing? You know this isn't twitter, right?
    I'm not trying to be combative, I just don't get it.
  22. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to wildviolet in How do you get through the slumps?   
    Sorry to hear that. I had the same thoughts several times last year, and I also have two kids, etc.
    For me, I don't think I would still be here if I didn't have such a great support system in my colleagues/friends and advisor/faculty. The way I get through slumps is to:
    1. Realize that I'm in a slump and that things will get better (there's only one way to go, and that's up!).
    2. Let myself feel the emotions (in other words, don't try to deny or ignore them).
    3. Do whatever I feel like doing, whether that's sitting around the house, "wasting" time on FB and YT, or not changing out of my pajamas. I'm still learning to not feel bad about "unproductive" days.
    4. Talk to friends who are good listeners (who are not necessarily fellow grad students).
    5. Remind myself of the alternatives... and that grad school is the best choice for me right here, right now.
    I hope you feel better soon!
  23. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to EdYouKateOr in I feel like a little kid waiting for first day of school   
    It is all hitting me pretty fast! one week from now my life will totally change. Leave my $80k job to be a work/study student... Leave my 4br 3000 sq. ft. house to move to 2 br. 766 sq.ft. Apt...leave all friends and family in Sunny Florida to go to snowy Mass! What was I thinking?!?! I was thinking this is going to be the BEST thing that has ever happened to me! Wouldn't change a thing! Just a roller coaster of emotions everyday with plenty to-do lists!
  24. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to guinevere29 in Grad student attire?   
    Most of the undergrads at my school dress very informal...like athletic shorts, t-shirts, just-woke-up look. The grad students do not get super dressed up; the clean comment above is very apt. I like to get slightly dressier (like one step down from business causual) when I teach class. I think especially if you look young, it helps students see you as an authority figure.
  25. Upvote
    veggiez reacted to wanderingalbatross in I feel like a little kid waiting for first day of school   
    I moved to the new city, I finished un-packing, I registered for classes....and now I'm counting down the days until school starts, like a 7-year-old, because I'm so excited about getting the ball rolling on classes and research (and meeting my cohort). Is anyone else like this?
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