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Overwhelmed by the transition to Doc Student


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I thought applying and interviewing would be the hard part, but preparing to move, looking for housing in a city I visited once for 4 hours, attempting to wrap up my life in one place, finishing a large research study that has me traveling a good bit has been overwhelming, and dealing with a family health crisis has definitely been harder.  What did you find (or are you finding, if you're making the transition as well) that helped to keep you from getting too burned out during the transition phase?  I want to start my PhD program excited, fresh, and ready to dive in, but right now I'm worried I'm going to arrive to the first day of classes exhausted and hanging on by threads.

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1 hour ago, topsailpsych said:

I thought applying and interviewing would be the hard part, but preparing to move, looking for housing in a city I visited once for 4 hours, attempting to wrap up my life in one place, finishing a large research study that has me traveling a good bit has been overwhelming, and dealing with a family health crisis has definitely been harder.  What did you find (or are you finding, if you're making the transition as well) that helped to keep you from getting too burned out during the transition phase?  I want to start my PhD program excited, fresh, and ready to dive in, but right now I'm worried I'm going to arrive to the first day of classes exhausted and hanging on by threads.

If you have other students in your lab who are more senior or older students in the program, you should connect with them when you move to your new location. I moved across the country to a city I had only visited twice before, and connecting with them was great as it helped me get some friends and feel like I could get a lay of the city and stuff before school started.

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Reach out to your program director about housing. Ours recently asked us about current students looking for roommates because an incoming student asked. 

Other than that, just try to practice self-care. Being overwhelmed is going to be a pretty common feeling for the next few years, so just try to get in the habit of making time for yourself so that you do not burnout. Catch up on TV shows you love, take a bubble bath, see a movie with some friends, go to a yoga class, etc. These activities are just as important as anything else you have to do. 

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I feel this. I grabbed a really nice apartment way back in March but just found out that parking was a separate thing that needed to be added to the lease, and now they're all out of parking passes so I can't bring my car. 🙃 I've never lived in an apartment before so I find all the details super overwhelming. 

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1 hour ago, ResilientDreams said:

I grabbed a really nice apartment way back in March but just found out that parking was a separate thing that needed to be added to the lease

Wow. I can't believe that's a thing. 

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1 hour ago, dakotaS said:

Wow. I can't believe that's a thing. 

Yup me neither and the worst part is, I drove all the way up to New York to look at apartments, signed the lease right in front of the leasing manager, and discussed with him how I was planning to bring my car with me. He even told me that they try to put your spot as close to your apartment building as possible, but neglected to tell me that I needed to purchase a separate pass in order to get a space at all or that parking wasn't guaranteed.

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Aren't you going to Cornell? I've been to Ithaca, and I would never imagine there would be parking trouble there. That's almost bizarre. Is there street parking in the area? You could hopefully find street parking and then buy a parking pass later. 

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2 hours ago, dakotaS said:

Wow. I can't believe that's a thing. 

FWIW, the product you're encountering is unbundled parking. The product acknowledges that not all residents will have vehicles and therefore benefit from not having to pay for parking.

Unbundled parking also helps the process of getting a building developed, funded, approved, and built. Parking spaces can be tremendously expensive to build. The cost of parking gets passed along to you as a resident, employee, patron, and shopper. 

1 hour ago, ResilientDreams said:

Yup me neither and the worst part is, I drove all the way up to New York to look at apartments, signed the lease right in front of the leasing manager, and discussed with him how I was planning to bring my car with me. He even told me that they try to put your spot as close to your apartment building as possible, but neglected to tell me that I needed to purchase a separate pass in order to get a space at all or that parking wasn't guaranteed.

More and more, a parking permit is a hunting license with no guarantee that you'll find a space.

IRT parking at Cornell, the web page https://fcs.cornell.edu/parking-and-transportation suggests that motorists should manage their expectations or consider seriously alternative modes of transportation. 

 

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1 hour ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

Aren't you going to Cornell? I've been to Ithaca, and I would never imagine there would be parking trouble there. That's almost bizarre. Is there street parking in the area? You could hopefully find street parking and then buy a parking pass later. 

Yes I am, and maybe the town in general would have been okay, but I don't have a spot at my apartment complex and we aren't allowed to park in the neighborhood, so that doesn't really leave me with a lot of options because paying for and dumping my car in a parking garage somewhere else and then still needing to take the bus back to my apartment doesn't make a whole lot of sense unfortunately. 😕

14 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

FWIW, the product you're encountering is unbundled parking. The product acknowledges that not all residents will have vehicles and therefore benefit from not having to pay for parking.

Unbundled parking also helps the process of getting a building developed, funded, approved, and built. Parking spaces can be tremendously expensive to build. The cost of parking gets passed along to you as a resident, employee, patron, and shopper. 

More and more, a parking permit is a hunting license with no guarantee that you'll find a space.

IRT parking at Cornell, the web page https://fcs.cornell.edu/parking-and-transportation suggests that motorists should manage their expectations or consider seriously alternative modes of transportation. 

 

I do begrudgingly understand the reasoning behind this tactic, but what really gets me is that I was sitting right in front of the leasing manager talking about my car and wanting to be able to take it/park it and he never mentioned anything about buying a pass. I actually only found out about this because I RANDOMLY checked their website. Otherwise I would have shown up there in my car in August. Anyway yes, I will be forced to be green or whatever and take the bus/walk/~sled~ down the hill into town.

I am clearly still very upset about this lol.

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4 hours ago, ResilientDreams said:

I am clearly still very upset about this lol.

I understand. Parking is an emotional subject.

The leasing manager provided bad customer service, for which there may be reasons but never excuses. Is there an opportunity to provide feedback to his supervisor?

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9 hours ago, ResilientDreams said:

Yes I am, and maybe the town in general would have been okay, but I don't have a spot at my apartment complex and we aren't allowed to park in the neighborhood, so that doesn't really leave me with a lot of options because paying for and dumping my car in a parking garage somewhere else and then still needing to take the bus back to my apartment doesn't make a whole lot of sense unfortunately. 😕

That stinks, I'm sorry that your leasing agent messed up so bad.  However, it may be a good thing. College towns usually have really good public transportation. A few people I know in various schools had their cars in grad school and still almost never used them because the bus was way easier than parking in the downtown area or by school. 

Hopefully, if you find that you do want your car, you can snag a parking pass after a year. 

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Following this post because I relate too much! Moving to Texas in only 20 days, to a city I've only been to twice, and I'm struggling to balance wrapping up everything here in Indiana, working full time, finding last minute time with friends, my parents' divorce, family health issues, and getting back into school after a gap year. This is also the first time I'll truly be living on my own, not with my parents or in a college campus apartment, and I really don't know what I'm doing! Feeling the pressure, but still excited for my program to start in the Fall!

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12 hours ago, PsyDGrad90 said:

That stinks, I'm sorry that your leasing agent messed up so bad.  However, it may be a good thing. College towns usually have really good public transportation. A few people I know in various schools had their cars in grad school and still almost never used them because the bus was way easier than parking in the downtown area or by school. 

Hopefully, if you find that you do want your car, you can snag a parking pass after a year. 

I agree and being from the south, I was a bit worried about driving in the snow anyway. 

And @Sigaba, that is a brilliant idea that would be very cathartic. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Relate to this so strongly. I'm not doing much, just finishing up some projects and papers that I'm passionate about and already secured housing. What's hard to let go is the feeling that you always have to do something. This whole process amped up my need for productivity so much that I'm relearning how to do nothing. 

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Feeling this 100% right now! Moving to Toronto from the US and even simple things like having a leasing office check my credit score are a mess because apparently your US credit doesn’t follow you to Canada. 😕

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