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Cassifrassidy

New Program Anxiety

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Hi everyone,

I just started my program, and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed already, so I was wondering if anyone else just starting is feeling that way/felt that way when they started and can commiserate, esp in regards to teaching. My actual classes haven't begun yet, but I'm currently in my training for teaching. Every day it seems like they spring new requirements on us, and it's starting to really wear on me. And classes haven't even begun! But I'm worried about being able to manage my time while also having SOME time for myself. I wasn't even supposed to be teaching this year--when I was admitted I was told I would work in the writing center. Then suddenly, they tell me that I'll be teaching, not just TAing, but teaching my own class. I've also moved across the country and away from my support system and I recently got out of a very toxic, emotionally abusive relationship which I'm still kind of reeling from. Bottom line is just that my anxiety is building and I'm having difficulties sleeping, so I guess I'm just searching for people who understand what this feels like so that I don't feel completely nuts haha

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You're not nuts, this is all - unfortunately - very typical and natural.  When I first started, I was convinced that I was the stupidest person in the room at all times, and that the admissions committee must have made some grievous error. Fortunately, my program spares us the anxiety of first year teaching on top of all the other first year anxieties, but nevertheless, things were daunting as hell.

You're adjusting to new experiences, a new position, and a new way of being in the world and in academia.  It's going to feel overwhelming, and there are going to be growing pains.  It never becomes easy, but as you become more familiar with the lay of the land, and a new body of expectations, things will become much easier to handle.  

If it helps at all, most graduate students I know also manage to have vibrant personal and social lives if they want them; and, likewise, grad school is isolating but also offers remedies to isolation. You're going to figure out how to make your life work.  Everything is going to be okay.

Edited by jrockford27

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9 hours ago, jrockford27 said:

You're not nuts, this is all - unfortunately - very typical and natural.  When I first started, I was convinced that I was the stupidest person in the room at all times, and that the admissions committee must have made some grievous error. Fortunately, my program spares us the anxiety of first year teaching on top of all the other first year anxieties, but nevertheless, things were daunting as hell.

You're adjusting to new experiences, a new position, and a new way of being in the world and in academia.  It's going to feel overwhelming, and there are going to be growing pains.  It never becomes easy, but as you become more familiar with the lay of the land, and a new body of expectations, things will become much easier to handle.  

If it helps at all, most graduate students I know also manage to have vibrant personal and social lives if they want them; and, likewise, grad school is isolating but also offers remedies to isolation. You're going to figure out how to make your life work.  Everything is going to be okay.

Thank you for the support and validation ❤️ I needed to hear this right now

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Hang in there! First few weeks are scary. My program had a really intense TA training that met every day for several hours, so I was completely drained during & after it. 

What I will say is that after finishing the intense training, everything felt easier. I had classes only a couple times a week and could spread out my reading; I taught only a couple times a week and had some space to leave an assignment description alone for a few days and think about how I wanted to write it. 

Once you get into an established routine during the regular semester, things will start to feel "normal." But it is absolutely overwhelming at first. I'm sure your cohort feels similarly, too, so I'd recommend reaching out to them, as you are all going through this together. 

Best of luck! 

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I have been having these same feelings of anxiety, so it feels good to see I am not alone I guess. I just moved across the country a few weeks ago and was having severe anxiety leading up to the move and since arriving. I start my semester soon and every evening I have this crushing anxiety that I am going to be miserable, have no personal time, or not be able to rise to the challenges. Thank you both for the shared experiences, hopefully it goes away soon! Cassifrassidy, I definitely understand what you're going through and you're not alone lol

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On 8/12/2018 at 1:16 PM, klader said:

Hang in there! First few weeks are scary. My program had a really intense TA training that met every day for several hours, so I was completely drained during & after it. 

What I will say is that after finishing the intense training, everything felt easier. I had classes only a couple times a week and could spread out my reading; I taught only a couple times a week and had some space to leave an assignment description alone for a few days and think about how I wanted to write it. 

Once you get into an established routine during the regular semester, things will start to feel "normal." But it is absolutely overwhelming at first. I'm sure your cohort feels similarly, too, so I'd recommend reaching out to them, as you are all going through this together. 

Best of luck! 

Thank you for the reassurance! It's helpful to hear others' experience (especially that it's going to get easier haha)

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On 8/12/2018 at 9:43 PM, ZTG92 said:

I have been having these same feelings of anxiety, so it feels good to see I am not alone I guess. I just moved across the country a few weeks ago and was having severe anxiety leading up to the move and since arriving. I start my semester soon and every evening I have this crushing anxiety that I am going to be miserable, have no personal time, or not be able to rise to the challenges. Thank you both for the shared experiences, hopefully it goes away soon! Cassifrassidy, I definitely understand what you're going through and you're not alone lol

You are definitely not alone! Sending you good vibes

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