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Waiting the results - How do you deal with the stress?


aloy
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Hello Friends!

I have the feeling that there are many of us, who are waiting with dead silence from the schools and stressing about the admission process. This is my third round of application period and I am a second-year MA student. This waiting has been making me super stressed and I lost my motivations for the things I love to do! I play bunch of video games and pet our kitty and it helps a lot :) Though I prefer to go back to being motivated professionally and academically. I also scheduled a meeting with my school's counseling service to talk about it. 

How do you deal with the stress? What are your resources for support and motivation? 

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Hi @aloy I'm in the same boat with you!  I'm sorry you're feeling so stressed and unmotivated.  That's real.  This is a really hard place to be in -- we have no power over what happens next, and nothing to do but wait.  

This quote from a poster in another topic has been useful to read --

I don't know what works best for you, but I decided to take an art class -- once a week, doing something I have never done before and never would have otherwise.  The actual class takes up time, but I spend more time out of class thinking about and planning for what I will do in class later.  That has helped ground me and more importantly -- distract me!  If there is a class you can take, I can't recommend it enough.  Or, you could use the deep resource of youtube and teach yourself a new skill -- knitting, sewing, basic woodworking, baking... anything to keep the hands and mind busy.

❤️ Good luck!!!  

 

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Hi @aloy, waiting is truly agony! I recently started seeing someone to deal with the stress, and to identify healthy coping mechanisms I can rely on during grad school. She gave me some form of the sheet at this link to fill out when I start to panic - and it's actually really helped! It gives me a finite amount of time to identify and explore how I'm feeling before I move on. She has also encouraged me to write down (yes, write it down!) a list of at least ten things I can do when I'm stressed, and at least five people I can contact. Cooking is at the top of mine, because it includes all of the senses - leaving none for fixating on admissions results!  I also run, and do yoga when I can.

Starting the research necessary for your doctoral project may reignite the dwindling motivation you mentioned. I poked through some archives this month, and in doing so I remembered why I love art history, why I have succeeded thus far, and generally made me feel more in control of my life. If you can't access primary materials, you could start putting together your lit review (organizing that spreadsheet/Zotero folder will also be a fun organizational game). 

I hope that at least some of this is helpful! Best of luck :) 

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You're right, @aloy. There are many of us who can relate to your stress. Like you, this is not my first rodeo, and I'd swore I wouldn't be on here obsessively checking results like I did when applying to masters programs but here I am, doing the same this cycle.

However, a piece of advice I read somewhere on the forums suggested envisioning your life ahead without grad school, which I guess is just another way of encouraging devising a back-up plan. I have a pretty enticing plan, which I think about when I'm feeling at the mercy of these admissions committees. I also think how nice a year off would be to edit all the writing I've done in the past two years and submit those pieces for publication. Another tactic I have to reduce anxiety is to go on longer walks with my dogs and not check anything on my phone the whole time. I also try and remember while an acceptance or two would feel awesomely validating, continuing grad school will be its own bundle of new stresses. I'm thinking of a friend who is applying to tenure track jobs, which makes my application process seem like a cool summer breeze.

All the best to you.  

 

 

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I've found that using all the energy I put into my grad school applications to work on something equally meticulous has been helpful. I took up bullet journaling, and mostly use my journal as a place for creativity in my life, but drawing exact shapes and coloring them in and planning everything out takes so much time and focus that I can't possibly think about my apps. I'm also not a student right now so I have really focused on putting the maximum amount of effort possible into my job and keeping busy in the workplace.

That being said, I received two very early offers so I have much less stress than the average applicant.

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Maybe this is absolutely insane, but during the wait I've spent time thinking of backup plans outside my career if this round doesn't work out. This isn't because I don't absolutely love the field, but I don't have much familial financial support and my career in the arts hasn't been kind to my bank account thus far. In my mind, if I can't study art history without going further into student loan debt, I need to make sure I will still be ok, and thinking of other game plans has helped me relax. 

I despise this capitalist myth that you should live to work. I'm telling myself that if I have to do another type of work to live, I can still enjoy art and art history. 

...is this crazy? lol

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