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Fall 2012ers: How are y'all feeling?


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Hey, GradCafe friends! Long time no talk! :P Just a question for y'all...how are your programs going so far? Personally, I'm loving my classes but am feeling super overwhelmed in terms of workload and even in terms of social interactions. I keep feeling like I'm making an ass of myself and it's kind of awful!

So, just wanted to catch up with y'all (look at this little midwestern girl, becoming a true southerner ;) ) and see how the first year in grad school is treating you!

My classes don't start until the 26th, so I am feeling bored. :)

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  • 3 months later...
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Hah! I feel the exact same. I'm going to clean my new apartment today. I've been fake preoccupied with stuff like apartment finding/cleaning so I've not yet worried too much about school. When I

A little bit of confusion, a lot of anxiety, and a whole lot of impostor syndrome all coated with sugary sprinkles of incredulous excitement.

Went to ratemyprofessor and found the easiest professors. Shakespeare it is! I don't want to break in my first semester with a coaster ride. Slow and steady wins the race. And I don't suggest driv

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi bdon! Things went well (all A's, although it doesn't feel like a big deal the way it used too :P). It is challenging but rewarding. I feel like I'm in my groove now. How's everyone else liking it?

 

Hey TripWillis.  The first quarter was a tough adjustment psychoemotionally but things are looking up a bit!  Glad to hear it's rewarding for you!  I told you that I went to the grad center for my MA, yeah?

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Hey TripWillis.  The first quarter was a tough adjustment psychoemotionally but things are looking up a bit!  Glad to hear it's rewarding for you!  I told you that I went to the grad center for my MA, yeah?

I think I knew you were there -- are you still there? What program?

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  • 6 months later...

Well, for one thing, everything that seemed anxiety-inducing about grad school when I applied (language exams; balancing teaching, coursework, conferences, and publications, while still maintaining life in general; moving to a new place and knowing nobody) is no longer a big deal. This has left empty space for a new anxiety to set up shop - whether I'm doing "enough" at all times, in all grad things. But that's not atypical.

 

You, ComeBackZinc? Others?

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Well I just finished my second year and my coursework, although I'll be taking a couple stats classes and some random others in the next year or two. The next step for me is my comprehensive exams, which start on the 30th of this month. In my program, we have a 24 hour test, with 5 questions (each based on one of our core classes) of 1200 words a piece, followed by a 7 day test which is a paper of 18-20 pages on a topic picked from a small list. It's a pretty traditional test. The 24 hour section is the real nail-biter, so as you can imagine I'm really feeling the stress at the moment with daily studying and writing of practice answers. I'll feel much better when I'm through with the test.

 

I really want to try and finish in 4 years. It's doable; there's usually one or two people from each cohort who do. But the faculty is generally discouraging, and I know they have good reasons for that, so I'll probably finish in 5. Perhaps I'll be in absentia, doing research at a city high school somewhere.

 

I guess the biggest impression for me, other than how much I enjoy being a grad student (which isn't to say it's perfect-- it's far, far from perfect), is the pressure to publish. I have to say that my CV is in better shape at this point in my progress than I possibly could have predicted, and yet I still feel pressure every day to respond to CFPs and pitch to journals. I guess that attitude will probably be good for me in the long run, although I wouldn't use the word healthy to describe it!

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After a year, I feel SO much better than if I had been checking in 6 months ago.  At that point, I was feeling a lot of "holy crap, what am I doing? WHY am I doing this!?"  But now, it is still summer (even if it doesn't feel like it!), and I'm sitting at Starbucks cranking out a conference proposal just because.  I am super pumped about the upcoming semester's classes and my first foray into the world of teaching!  I got a little "behind" last year (I didn't really do much...or really anything...by way of conferences), but as a first year coming straight from undergrad, I kind of feel like I experienced a year of burnout that I am going to follow up with a year of productivity!  In other words, I love my life as a grad student now, and I wouldn't have it any other way!  :D

 

How are the rest of y'all doing?  I kind of miss being on GradCafe every day!

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  • 1 month later...

I'm feeling good! It's good to hear from you guys.

 

I'm teaching two classes this year with two different preps, which is a major time-suck, but I get to teach literature for the first time, which is exciting. I scored a peer-reviewed article pub in the offseason and I have another under review. Turning in a book review today. Trying to stay as busy as I can on the publishing front.

 

I'm tired, but in a really good way. My lingering doubts only come when my bank account is empty.

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