Jump to content

First semester discouragement


Recommended Posts

I just experience my first bout of homesickness this weekend. I don't think the rainy weather helped my mood. My boyfriend tried his best to make me feel better, and I mostly do now. It is lonely moving away, but it will get better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I totally understand what everyone has said above. I'm feeling like I'm constantly being "one-upped" by the other 1st year grad student in my lab who is always coming in on the weekend to do work, and making me feel like a lazy bum, even though I'm getting my work done. :( I think I need to do see psychological services because I feel like it is a constant competition with him to see who is doing more work than the other. It makes me sick to my stomach, quite frankly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find chamomile tea and a good *just for fun* novel is what I need to relax and de-stress. Also, I rigidly schedule school work. My approach is to make a weekly schedule of class/work/homework/free times. If I have homework scheduled, I begin right on time like I would if I had work or class scheduled. I also stop as soon as it is time for 'free play' (unless there is a serious impending deadline). I concentrate on what I am doing at the moment. If I am working, I think about work. If I am doing homework, I am not thinking about work or free time. This method works for me, but different strokes for different folks.

See, that's what I do in theory, but I have such a warped sense of when I am allowed to have fun. I definitely rigidly schedule my school work, but it ends up lasting the entire day. It's like I can't accept the notion of having fun! Or I can, but only on the weekends and only for a little bit, before I go back to work. In fact, I've signed up to volunteer all day Sunday, but even though I know I'll enjoy it I'm having a lot of trouble coming to terms with the fact that I won't be able to do work all day. Needless to say, I'm trying to work through this with my counselor...

And I think the homesickness gets better. Is there any way you can visit home, ktel? I'm visiting for a few days in 3.5 weeks, so I think that's been giving me something to look forward to. I'm just trying to get through what feels like a bajillion assignments before that can happen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a 4 hour, $500-600 flight to visit home, so I'm definitely not able to just get up and go home if I want to. Once my rugby season is done I could take a logn weekend if I wanted, but by then it will be almost Christmas so I might as well wait.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I totally understand what everyone has said above. I'm feeling like I'm constantly being "one-upped" by the other 1st year grad student in my lab who is always coming in on the weekend to do work, and making me feel like a lazy bum, even though I'm getting my work done. :( I think I need to do see psychological services because I feel like it is a constant competition with him to see who is doing more work than the other. It makes me sick to my stomach, quite frankly.

Don't let it get to you- everyone works differently. He may be coming in on the weekend to do work because he's not getting it all done during the week- you never know.

Getting into competition with your labmates can be bad for everyones health- focus on doing what you know is a good job of your work, and try to ignore what they're doing as much as possible.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh, just realized how much I have to do this month. It's relentless! The stress is mounting, I can feel it, and I don't like it one bit. :(

my response? spend endless amounts of time on TGC and other websites. I'm hoping I'll get motivated again soon when my deadlines become more imminent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been going out for aimless walks while listening to audiobooks. This is the first week I've done it and I'm loving it so far.

The audiobooks are also somewhat related to my field (they're non-technical popular books on social sciences), so I don't feel guilty about not being cooped up in the office all day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone who's having trouble allowing themselves to relax, please remember: balance makes you more productive. There are studies that prove this.

Taking time off to relax is necessary for your mental health, your physical health (exercise!), and has the added benefit of allowing you to work more productively when you get back to it. Treat yourself kindly; you deserve it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm having similar problems as far as being discouraged, but not in the way people are describing. I'm on top of the work because I was lucky enough to get a fellowship and honestly, I have a lot more time on my hands than I thought I would and find it difficult to find the motivation to do anything outside of my apartment and my TV. I'm mostly feeling it in the inadequacy department; the mingling and the small talk terrify me, and I thought that I can always at least keep up with scholarly ideas, but I'm feeling so intimidated by how smart everyone else is that I just have performance anxiety all the time. Basically I just don't feel right yet. I'm hoping by the end of the term this will pass, but it sucks so far. I don't need anymore self-consciousness than I already have.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 years later...

I'm finishing up an MA in English and will start a Ph.D. in the fall and have to hit the door running because it includes a teaching assignment. I remember all too well, the first semester stress (not that it has ever really disappeared and this semester came back in force, as I worked on thesis and had applications out), and I know it will be coming again in the fall. Both my supervising professor and my thesis advisor have been good listeners over the last 4 semesters. They probably know my thesis, as well as I do, because I have discussed various aspects of it with them. I have spoken with several professors about students they had last semester that I'm teaching rhet/comp II to this semester to make sure I understand what's going on with them. This semester I have only one class, but I'm also teaching a class and have six hours of thesis. It's a good thing that I have been doing research and reading for the three prior semesters because I only had seven weeks to write it and I did finish on time.

Whatever you think about the workload of grad students as an undergrad, up that about 3x for a master's program and probably that again as a doctoral student. My MA level English papers went from being 12-15 pages (as an undergrad) to 20-25 pages in length. I have no idea how long the papers become in the doctoral program. Since I'm a literary scholar, I not only have to read the primary text, I need to read scholarship. It's hard to skim a novel and get any value out of it, but sometimes I'm forced to do just that because I run out of time and I'm a fast reader. On average during the last four semesters, I have read three novels and 8-10 pieces of scholarship total on those novels per week. You do get used to the amount of work.

I have been rather terse and testy this semester, something like a prickly pear! I find praying about it has helped me to cope tremendously. If you're not a Christian or other praying religion, then meditation would be the equivalent, I believe. I still find time to read junky romance novels as my secret guilt pleasure. :wacko: One cannot exist completely on a diet of literature. This is all creating a second career for me. Prior to returning to school, I worked in a law firm as a paralegal/legal assistant for a number of years. It's both a lot of work and stressful. But I know how to cope and get the work done one way or another. One needs to find the niche where it all comes together and it can be frustrating until you do find it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.