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So... what now?


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I recently committed to my favorite Ph.D. programs (has been one of my favorites for years now) and I'm stoked! Besides continuing your job/the sending transcripts/setting up an email/administrative stuff... what are y'all doing now with your free time? 

Maybe it just feels strange cause this process has given us such a momentum, and I constantly feel like I should be doing something, but I'm genuinely curious. Are y'all reading articles, sleeping extra, spending more time with family? I'm really having a hard time just relaxing- does anybody have any tips or words of wisdom?

Edited by madamoiselle
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I'm in a show right now so I'm doing 3 performances every weekend. Hoping to pick up a zumba class after the show to fill some of my time. I'm also working on a paper for a conference that's due this week so that's taking up a lot of time. Oh, and working full time, exercising, reading, modding on Twitch, and prepping for my move. It's a lot, but I think I'm a good mix of stressful and relaxing activities. :) 

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Since I accepted my offer in February, I've pushed aside any 'PhD thoughts' and am focusing solely on completing my Master's thesis. I'm still in email contact with my PhD supervisor, but just some light emails about interesting articles being published, stuff in the news, etc. It does feel a bit like limbo, especially after working so hard on applications AND Master's work, but I don't want to shift focus until I've finished this last step.

As soon as I defend (in 12 days - ahhh!), I'll start selling my things in preparation for the move. Selling/donating everything seems like such a daunting task, so I've also made tentative plans to go camping/hiking with friends and let off some steam during those few weeks. I'm planning to move at the end of May. Then I'm mostly going to take the summer off, for the first time since... high school, I guess.  Over the summer I'll probably start reading some theory/background to my PhD work, have some meetings with my supervisor about the project/grant applications, meet the lab, etc, but I plan to keep it light. I want to take the time to get settled and get to know my new city, and just ease into the PhD world. ^_^



Edited by timetobegin
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After accepting my offer and going through the rush of finding out where I was going to live, shop, dine, etc and taking Google Earth tours through the city, I have eased off on the prepping and started living life again. 

For the summer, I'm planning a couple trips on the side of country where homebase is because I'm going to be moving to the other side in August. This includes favorite food joints, seeing friends and family, seeing some sights I haven't, that sort of stuff that won't be easy/possible when grad school starts. 

I'm definitely reading more than ever before, both books and articles, not to necessarily prepare for my program (some reading is for fun as well) but since I've been out of school for a couple years my attention span has definitely shortened and I know I need to get back to the point where reading for hours upon end isn't near impossible because I know it'll be a lot of that when I start back. For reading, I feel like I have less to prove now so I can read for enjoyment and outside of my field instead of just POIs' articles so that I can add them to my personal statements. 

I'm getting back into some hobbies that took a sideline while I was working on applications and interviews, including some side projects that require a lot of time. I started translating a rare book Russian to English before applications and now I wanna finish it before I go back to school because, again, I know I won't be able to do it when school starts up again. The prof who did my interview asked me about it and I promised I'd let her look at it when I start so it is good motivation to work on it. 

On top of that, I started a blog just about general topics in academia, my field as a whole, and my subfield/speciality so I can get used to writing in general, like I mentioned with reading, but I also want to develop a voice for my most commonly described topics. In addition, it's very helpful nowadays to get used to simplifying your very technical research to a level that can be understood by the general public, so I'm practicing translating academic speak and complex ideas into a more digestible vernacular for the common person who is interested in Russia or the Russian language. It doesn't really matter if anyone actually reads it; I'm really doing it for myself more than anyone. If there is a small readership eventually, though, I'd be quite honored! 

Other than that, I'm trying to relax as much as possible, and definitely sleeping better! I definitely agree with you, @madamoiselle, that I feel this compulsion to be productive but I logically know that this will be my last free summer for the next 4 decades so I want to enjoy it while it is here.

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