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Balancing Work with Apps


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As I feverishly work all weekend to get as much done before the work week starts, I figured I would make a thread for my fellow gradcafe'ers to discuss the pains of working long hours while applying to grad school.

I work a tedious job Monday through Friday, leaving me too burned out to work on apps during the week. Anybody else finding it extremely difficult to dedicate enough time, focus, energy to your apps due to work?

I am not starting this thread to complain. I just wanted to hear how others are coping balancing work and apps. I feel like my experience working a mind-numbing job will make it that much sweeter if I am accepted. But also, that much more depressing if I don't make it in.

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I am REALLY struggling with having time to devote to my applications since I teach full time at a university and I work part time at the university's writing center. Between my two jobs and all the grading I have, I am incredibly behind.

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I'm still finishing up my undergrad, but I am finally really starting to see why professors were recommending taking a year off. I've been committed to the process throughout, so they're supportive of my decision to apply now, but I had to prove that I was committed in order to convince them.

I just finished my term last night, and so I now have some time to work on my applications. It was ridiculous trying to squeeze in time for them while having a full course schedule, working three jobs, and attempting to maintain some sort of social life (as it is, after all, my last year of college!). I will get this stuff done, but I'm having a hard time motivating myself to get a substantial revision of my writing sample/SOP done by tomorrow. I'm meeting with two of my letter writers on Monday to go over my materials before I go home for winter break. Blah.

We'll be done soon, though. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however dim!

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I don't know if it is a comment on my work ethic or not, but it seems pretty insane that I have been engaged in this process (at least in some form) for about 6-7 months, and I am still struggling to complete these apps before their deadlines.

I feel like I am about to collapse inches before the finish line. I have pretty much everything done except for a final writing sample revision and fit paragraphs. I am just so burned out that I don't feel like my final push is going to be good enough. The fit paragraphs in particular are killing me. I have conceptualized why I would like to attend each school during the past several months. It is just a stressful task when you are applying to 10-15 schools. I am shamelessly applying to several schools where the fit is not obvious. I was thinking about tossing a last minute application to UC Davis, but when I got to the "Personal History" component of the app in addition to my SOP, I just felt powerless to write another word.

To make my night even worse, I just realized that I spelled the first name of one of my letter writers wrong on an app. In the words of Rick Perry: "oops".

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I'm also working a tedious 9-5 job throughout the week. By Saturday, I'm so mentally exhausted that all I want to do is watch videos of baby otters on Youtube, not revise my writing sample or update my CV.

My trick to working on weekends is to give myself two hours of mental vegetation before I dive into my applications. Then I try to just pace myself so that I don't end up pulling my hair out every weekend. But yes, it is very difficult. You're right in pointing out how absolutely fantastic it will be to receive an acceptance after working a mind-numbing job, though it does make the stakes that much higher.

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I'm also working a tedious 9-5 job throughout the week. By Saturday, I'm so mentally exhausted that all I want to do is watch videos of baby otters on Youtube, not revise my writing sample or update my CV.

^ My sentiments exactly. I wouldn't call my job tedious - it's actually quite fun, but it is still work. I wanted to have all my apps done in even intervals, like submitting one every three days or something, but I managed to send three, then take a two-week break, and churn out one more... I still have three more to go :(

Good luck everyone

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Glad (well, not glad, but relieved) to know that others are experiencing this problem. I work until 7:00, and by the time I get home at night the last things I want to think about are these applications. But then I lie in bed at night and think, "OMG a couple of these apps are due on Dec. 15. That's only four weeks away!", etc. etc. - and then I can't sleep either.

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I'm working 40 hours a week, working on applications, and studying to take the GRE again - in 2 weeks, ugh!!!! I do manage to do work most nights when I get home. My routine is: walk in door, put on pajamas, heat up some simplistic dinner, grab laptop, sit/eat/do some sort of work, work til eyes burn, go to sleep, do it over again. We just have to keep it up for a little while longer. It will be so worth it in the long run.

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