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Adelaide9216

Accomodations Requests - COVID-19/anti-racism protests

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone,

I feel affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the anti-racism protests that both disproportionally impacts black people. The pandemic also led me to spend three months, out of town, without seeing any friend or relative in person (I live alone). It wasn't bad a first, but it's starting to affect me. Everything that is happening also makes me recall a lot of racism I have faced as a black woman/teenager/girl throughout my entire life and that I have never really called out and felt able to call out until now. I've also experienced different forms of violence throughout my life due to the color of my skin, and it kinda resurfaces now.

I am strong, and I've always been able to cope and rely on myself because I realize I can't really rely on anyone because I am known for being strong and a leader. I feel like everyone is letting me down in moments where I most need support.

Plus, I was (finally) in a relationship in May after being single my entire life, it felt like everything was going alright but it ended after a month without me really knowing/understanding why. Once again. To be honest, I feel angry, bitter, disrespected, undervalued and tired. I can't focus. I feel like I'm a 50% of my usual productivity (and I'm known for being very organized and productive) but I have days where I just wake up and am not able to do anything. I can't do the dishes, do the laundry, do the groceries, or clean my appartement. I just feel overwhelmed although I am able to go out and take walks. I don't eat much and I don't eat as well as I should've because I'm too tired to cook. I have a research assistantship, and I literally am not able to commit to the hours I must work (I asked not to have a RA in the fall). 

I think I am going through a mild depression. I think mild because I've experienced a lot more severe depressive symptoms in my teenage years, so it's absolutely not comparable. But I don't feel at my best. I feel discouraged a little bit. I was in a very dark place in 2019 but it definetly got better in early 2020 to be honest, so I'm not at my lowest. But still. 

My thesis director told me multiple times that my health is my top priority, and that if I need accommodations for my comprehensive exam (an extra semester), it may be possible to ask for one. But I'm kinda ashamed to ask for that, I don't know why.

Has anyone here go through a process like this during COVID-19/anti-racism protest as a student of color and how was it? Was your university supportive? 

I feel like I am breathing through a straw (not literally, but you know what I mean). I'm tired. I can't breathe. 

 

PS : I have zero problems with my thesis director, I love my doctoral thesis topic and definetly feel I can rock my comprehensive exam, I've got straight A+ during my coursework (first year of PhD studies). I just need to breathe a little bit. I also want to mention that I had zero vacations between my master's degree and my phd program, so maybe I'm also feeling the effects of that as well.

Edited by Adelaide9216

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Adelaide9216 said:

My thesis director told me multiple times that my health is my top priority, and that if I need accommodations for my comprehensive exam (an extra semester), it may be possible to ask for one. But I'm kinda ashamed to ask for that, I don't know why.

Why is your thesis director offering this guidance repeatedly?

What are the benefits and challenges of taking an extra semester to prepare for your exam?

What can you do to focus more on preparing for the exam and to put aside temporarily your other concerns?

Edited by Sigaba

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Just now, Sigaba said:

Why is your thesis director offering this guidance repeatedly?

What are the benefits and challenges of taking an extra semester to prepare for your exam?

What can you do to focus more on preparing for the exam and to put aside temporarily your other concerns?

1) Because I told him I was not feeling well.

2) There's no major consequences to be honest after speaking with him and to an upper-year PhD student. I am going to make the official request in September. 

3) I have re-worked my reading calendar and gave myself more breaks and free time. 

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9 minutes ago, Adelaide9216 said:

3) I have re-worked my reading calendar and gave myself more breaks and free time. 

Please do what you can to monitor yourself during your breaks and free time so that those intervals are truly free. 

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Have you considered checking out the counseling and psychological services offered at your school? Usually your university should have free individual therapy sessions you can attend (they will likely be given via telehealth due to COVID) as well as group therapy services, where the group is centered around a topic (I know my school had a group on race issues and another group on trauma, maybe yours does too?). It may be helpful, and I certainly benefitted from individual therapy at my school when I was going through some major stressors.

It may also help to get an official diagnosis and help with obtaining accomodations from your school's office of disabilities.

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