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Psyche007

For those who are attending a Clin Psych prog this fall...

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For everyone attending a clinical psychology PhD/PsyD programme this fall, how are you spending your time until the semester begins?

What kind of preparations are you making?

What kind of contact have you had with your POI/advisor/mentor, if any?

Spoken to any current/former grad students from your department?

Living arrangement/moving?

I was thinking of grabbing my old stats, anatomy, and pharmacology textbooks from storage for some refreshers, plus my DSM V and some other misc psych books.

My POI will email me in the next few weeks with some reading material, grant and funding information, and grad student referrals.

In the meantime, I’m reading his last few publications and generally itching to begin.

We’re not sure where we’ll be living just yet, as my wife has some career changes coming up, but we currently live about 45 minutes or so from the university.

I’ve already been on campus to find out the earliest I can get my ID, parking pass, and student credentials for access to the journal databases.

I can’t stop thinking about starting. I know it will be here quicker than I realize. I know I’m obsessing. I’m just so excited.

Roll on orientation!

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As a clinical student finishing my 1st year, just take this time to relax. Read anything your PI gives you, but otherwise do all the things you won't have time to do in a few months. Enjoy the summer. You will be spending a minimum of 4-6 years eating, sleeping, and breathing psych and stats. You don't need to do it now. 

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2 hours ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

As a clinical student finishing my 1st year, just take this time to relax. Read anything your PI gives you, but otherwise do all the things you won't have time to do in a few months. Enjoy the summer. You will be spending a minimum of 4-6 years eating, sleeping, and breathing psych and stats. You don't need to do it now. 

I hear what you're saying. There is definitely relaxation time built in. We're going to be traveling a little, that kind of thing. 

How much time did you have between undergrad and beginning your doctorate?

I want to refresh my memory because I graduated with my 1st Bachelors in Applied Psych, when I took stats, in 2011. 2nd Bachelors in Health Studies, when I took A&P I&II covering neuroanatomy and pharmacology, in 2015.

For various reasons, I've had plenty of time to 'smell the roses' over the last year or two. I'm bored out of my mind. I listen to plenty of lectures and audiobooks.

I'm probably at least 10 years older than the average grad student and I just want to get a move on, haha.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

As a clinical student finishing my 1st year, just take this time to relax. Read anything your PI gives you, but otherwise do all the things you won't have time to do in a few months. Enjoy the summer. You will be spending a minimum of 4-6 years eating, sleeping, and breathing psych and stats. You don't need to do it now. 

That's helpful! I'm just reading all of my mentor's articles -- might flip through an old PSY 100 book since I finished undergrad 7 years ago.

I would like to connect with the other 6-7 people in my cohort. Not sure if programs usually put everyone in touch prior to classes beginning?

Edited by Jaclyneb

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4 minutes ago, Jaclyneb said:

That's helpful! I'm just reading all of my mentor's articles -- might flip through an old PSY 100 book since I finished undergrad 7 years ago.

I would like to connect with the other 6-7 people in my cohort. Not sure if programs usually put everyone in touch prior to classes beginning?

I would certainly like the same, but I don't think there are many members of my cohort using this board. At least, they don't seem to be posting.

I know my mentor is going to have me come and meet his research team at some point because they're the ones I'll be working alongside. I'm excited as he made several comments indicating that he feels positive that I'll get along well with them.

Leisurely reviewing some textbooks will help me get back into the mindset of studying and get my space optimized. I've already created and labeled my file folder structure for the entire PhD, plus the spreadsheets I use to track assignments and grades.... 😛

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46 minutes ago, Psyche007 said:

I hear what you're saying. There is definitely relaxation time built in. We're going to be traveling a little, that kind of thing. 

How much time did you have between undergrad and beginning your doctorate?

I want to refresh my memory because I graduated with my 1st Bachelors in Applied Psych, when I took stats, in 2011. 2nd Bachelors in Health Studies, when I took A&P I&II covering neuroanatomy and pharmacology, in 2015.

For various reasons, I've had plenty of time to 'smell the roses' over the last year or two. I'm bored out of my mind. I listen to plenty of lectures and audiobooks.

I'm probably at least 10 years older than the average grad student and I just want to get a move on, haha.

I did a joint BA/MA and graduated in spring 2015, but the last year was just my thesis (ran into a few hiccups) so the last time I had a class was 2014. I then worked full-time in a non-academic setting until the July before starting my program. I was definitely out of school for awhile, but I've been settling in pretty well. People come from different backgrounds, and at least in my program, the coursework has been challenging but the faculty try to make sure that no one is falling behind. The great thing about small cohorts is small classes where it is feasible for the faculty to try and tailor things a bit more closely to student needs. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

I did a joint BA/MA and graduated in spring 2015, but the last year was just my thesis (ran into a few hiccups) so the last time I had a class was 2014. I then worked full-time in a non-academic setting until the July before starting my program. I was definitely out of school for awhile, but I've been settling in pretty well. People come from different backgrounds, and at least in my program, the coursework has been challenging but the faculty try to make sure that no one is falling behind. The great thing about small cohorts is small classes where it is feasible for the faculty to try and tailor things a bit more closely to student needs. 

That’s good to hear.

My mentor has a specialization in research methodology and statistics and has already said he's happy to provide me with additional training and support outside of class and the lab.

Edited by Psyche007
To include quoted post.

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I'm going to spend my summer enjoying time with my daughter, giving my house a deep spring clean, looking for scholarships/grants/jobs to help me through the 1st year.

I'm also hoping to develop relationships with potential practicum sites. 

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I'm super excited as well to start! I haven't had a ton of contact with my advisor yet, which makes sense because she is on sabbatical. I've been focusing on wrapping up projects at my current position and getting everything in a good place for the person who will take over my job. I am also trying to finish up writing a manuscript for my first first-author publication. I hope to have that in submission before I leave for school so my co-authors don't have to track me down via email every time we need to discuss something. 

In terms of getting ready for school, I don't really plan to do very much other than find a place to live and figure out moving. I want to take a vacation before I start, which I am thinking either a yoga retreat somewhere gorgeous like Utah or Arizona or maybe going to Mexico and enjoying the beach. I have been doing some data analysis for the manuscript which has been a nice refresher on statistical work. Otherwise, I read a lot of the papers published in my field so I feel like I will continue doing that, but only because I find it enjoyable. My major focus is relaxing and resting so I am in a really good mental place when I start school

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13 minutes ago, presentfancies said:

I'm super excited as well to start! I haven't had a ton of contact with my advisor yet, which makes sense because she is on sabbatical. I've been focusing on wrapping up projects at my current position and getting everything in a good place for the person who will take over my job. I am also trying to finish up writing a manuscript for my first first-author publication. I hope to have that in submission before I leave for school so my co-authors don't have to track me down via email every time we need to discuss something. 

In terms of getting ready for school, I don't really plan to do very much other than find a place to live and figure out moving. I want to take a vacation before I start, which I am thinking either a yoga retreat somewhere gorgeous like Utah or Arizona or maybe going to Mexico and enjoying the beach. I have been doing some data analysis for the manuscript which has been a nice refresher on statistical work. Otherwise, I read a lot of the papers published in my field so I feel like I will continue doing that, but only because I find it enjoyable. My major focus is relaxing and resting so I am in a really good mental place when I start school

I am in a similar boat as you and have a quick question -- are you starting now to wrap up projects in your lab? I'm in a bit of a weird position since I am going from being the Lab Coordinator to being a graduate student in the same lab I am working in. I am motivated to not carry forward the tasks associated with my coordinator role over into grad school. Just trying to figure out how people are transitioning  out of old roles and back into a student role and looking for any advice in doing this as smoothly as possible!

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Just now, chopper.wife said:

I am in a similar boat as you and have a quick question -- are you starting now to wrap up projects in your lab? I'm in a bit of a weird position since I am going from being the Lab Coordinator to being a graduate student in the same lab I am working in. I am motivated to not carry forward the tasks associated with my coordinator role over into grad school. Just trying to figure out how people are transitioning  out of old roles and back into a student role and looking for any advice in doing this as smoothly as possible!

So I do work as a research coordinator but I work for a major hospital and will be moving across the country to start my PhD at an entirely different program, so potentially very different circumstances than it sounds like what you have going on.  

I absolutely agree and understand that you don't want to continue to be engaged in coordinator level activities once you start, I feel the same way.  By wrapping up I mean that I am finishing up a lot of stuff like data entry that needs to be done before I leave and creating manuals for how to do things, like creating guidelines for data entry, recruitment, etc. so the person who they hire to fill my role (fingers crossed!) won't have to reach out to me too much for questions about how to do any aspects of my job. Otherwise, I am working on finishing up other projects, like the manuscript with my colleagues, so I'm not focusing energy on anything outside of my lab's research once I get going with school. 

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On 4/23/2019 at 4:09 PM, Sherrinford said:

As a current grad student, enjoy the time you have for you will never see its like again. 

Perhaps. Seems a little... dramatic.

I took full-time undergraduate classes while working a full-time job and raising my step-daughter, plus outside hobbies such as martial arts and volunteering for a special needs fitness group. I'm looking forward to studying with only myself to focus on, as the kiddo is now 19 and my wife is 100% supportive.

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On 4/29/2019 at 4:58 PM, Psyche007 said:

Perhaps. Seems a little... dramatic.

I took full-time undergraduate classes while working a full-time job and raising my step-daughter, plus outside hobbies such as martial arts and volunteering for a special needs fitness group. I'm looking forward to studying with only myself to focus on, as the kiddo is now 19 and my wife is 100% supportive.

I've had similar levels of responsibility/work when I was getting my Masters. A PhD was another step up from that. And then in 2nd year once I began doing clinical work...it was something different all-together. My advisor said it best, "in grad school you learn how to juggle." 

I'm sure the transition for you will be easier than it may be for others. But there is a certainly a unique flavor of intensity that clinical psych grad programs have. Congratulations though, I'm going through it and it's definitely been the most exciting/challenging/meaningful periods of my life.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/4/2019 at 12:38 PM, Sherrinford said:

I've had similar levels of responsibility/work when I was getting my Masters. A PhD was another step up from that. And then in 2nd year once I began doing clinical work...it was something different all-together. My advisor said it best, "in grad school you learn how to juggle." 

I'm sure the transition for you will be easier than it may be for others. But there is a certainly a unique flavor of intensity that clinical psych grad programs have. Congratulations though, I'm going through it and it's definitely been the most exciting/challenging/meaningful periods of my life.

Thank you.

I have no doubt it will be challenging and intense. I am counting on it. I’ll be disappointed and bored if it’s not.

Applied Psych undergrad was laughably easy. Perhaps I attended a bad school, but I didn’t have much choice.

I took a semester in a MHC Master’s degree programme and was disappointed in its rigor. The MHC reading was easy and I really enjoyed the writing. There were no exams. I left and re-enrolled in a second BS which was much more challenging. The memorization and concepts in a biomedical science BS degree were more rewarding to learn because they were harder for me.

If I don’t experience any difficulty or adjustment with a PhD, it’ll be the same “I’m not intelligent or hard-working, the programme was too easy and therefore worthless” situation that I experienced after my first BS. This perception, while not necessarily accurate or rational, is reinforced when you spend time on a forum like this where, despite some protest to the contrary, pedigree and prestige is certainly held as a measure of a programme’s intellectual rigor and the worth of accepted students.

Ultimately, I just have to ignore all that and pursue the opportunities that are right for me out of the options I have available.

Edited by Psyche007

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