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Starting grad school after a really difficult break up?


RubyBright
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I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I don't want to dramatize my experience; I know that most people have gone through a difficult break up that makes them feel like their life is being torn apart. I'm just concerned about how this will affect my start at grad school. I'm not a very social person, and my confidence has really taken a hit because of this, as well as affecting a chronic medical condition. Any experience or advice?

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I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with this. I don't want to dramatize my experience; I know that most people have gone through a difficult break up that makes them feel like their life is being torn apart. I'm just concerned about how this will affect my start at grad school. I'm not a very social person, and my confidence has really taken a hit because of this, as well as affecting a chronic medical condition. Any experience or advice?

 

First of all, http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qB5pDmqRTIc/TwNIEpTXCVI/AAAAAAAAE0Q/mgvSRpKk1VA/s1600/ryan+gosling+run+hey+girl.jpg Think of all the men that will be lining up for you....jealous.

 

Second of all, I'm so sorry!  That's a bummer and it's never fun to go through a break-up while going through a life transition.  I don't have experience with this particularly with school but my ex and I broke up the week I moved 1,000 miles from everyone I know when I moved to Boston alone.  That was really hard and I thought I would feel lonely, but it actually ended up opening up so much time for me to throw myself into my new jobs.  I'm actually glad that it happened so early after I moved because it motivated me to meet people and not stay in my little bubble and talk to my boyfriend all the time.  Not that you would do that, but it might help you put yourself out there if you don't have that familiar "crutch." 

 

Hopefully, you can take the next couple of months to grieve and be ready to kill it when Fall comes.  I know you will! 

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Take the time to deal with the emotional aftermath of the breakup now - you've still got a lot of time before Fall (it may not seem like something you'll get over in that timeframe right now...but you could be surprised).

 

Take up a new sport or hobby. Book yourself a nice, relaxing holiday. Hang out with your friends. Spend time planning and getting excited about your new school. Do things now to help you move on and get your life back on track in time for grad school.

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This is a tangential aside, but I hope you'll find some amusement in this.  I moved from Boston to Chicago when I got my master's.  I thought I was leaving a lot of stuff behind me - no!  The guy who never gave me closure back in Boston... ended up going to the same university, at the same time.  I kept seeing him on campus.  Once I had to share a plane with him.  Another time, he was coming up a stairway while I was coming down.  UGHHHH!  :blink:

 

Chances are, this won't happen to you!

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This is a tangential aside, but I hope you'll find some amusement in this.  I moved from Boston to Chicago when I got my master's.  I thought I was leaving a lot of stuff behind me - no!  The guy who never gave me closure back in Boston... ended up going to the same university, at the same time.  I kept seeing him on campus.  Once I had to share a plane with him.  Another time, he was coming up a stairway while I was coming down.  UGHHHH!  :blink:   Chances are, this won't happen to you!
I would have told him to stop being a copycat, lol. I also would have shown up to his first defense and sat in the back, in silent delight. B)
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My boyfriend of a few years and I failed at the two body problem: Tried to end up in the same city. Instead we're going to grad schools an ocean apart. While we're both thinking about long-distance, I have the creeping suspicion that when there is nothing to look forward to, it will fall apart after a few months...right smack dab in the middle of my first semester. So I have that to look forward to. 

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You have my sympathies.  My 7-year marriage ended without warning in August of last year.  As if the divorce process itself isn't stressfull enough, I suddenly found myself being a single parent to a teenager and having to work full time to afford my last year of undergrad. 

 

Grad school is my bright spot.  It's my fresh start.  I'll have a new apartment with all new furniture (cheaper than moving my existing things half-way across the country).  I'll be at a school I love, doing work that I love, and I won't have to deal with the fear of bumping into my ex-husband every time I leave the house.  My son is excited about the move, and while he has to leave behind friends, he sees it as a fresh start as well.   

 

My advice is to look into activities in the area around your grad school.  What better time to get out and try something new?  You'll need a break from studies anyway.  Why not make this the year that you learn how to knit or tap dance or even join a roller derby team?  You'll be giving yourself the opportunity to grow as an individual and expanding your social circle in the process.

 

I won't lie and say that any of this is easy or that I'm not at all scared about making things work this fall, but I try to look at it as the incredible opportunity it is.  After a few months I've also come to be very grateful that things ended when they did.  I have had time to pick up the pieces, and I most of the beurocracy will have been handled before I leave the state.  Better that it happened last August than in the middle of preparing for qualifying exams or getting ready to defend my thesis.

Edited by Ely
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I'm sorry to hear about your breakup. I can definitely relate, and hopefully have hope for you. I am currently dealing with a definite break-up from a 6 year on and off relationship. I'm an introvert and have very few but very close friends, so to lose one feels worse. The break-up happened right in the middle of interview season. I went to my last interview after the break-up. I was so focused on doing well and was suprisingly having fun interacting with the prospective and current students that the activities took my mind totally off of the break-up. Since being accepted, I have thrown myself into my research and future coursework and I am able to keep busy and forget about my personal life. I am moving closer to my school with my best friend, am looking forward to decorating my space and finally having a place to call my own. I am completely focused on doing well in school without any distractions. I am choosing to look at it as a positive, that I have minimal distractions and I am able to focus on my work 100%. Good luck to you and I hope that things work out for you.

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And here I was thinking I was alone in this matter. My on and off girlfriend of 3 years (best friends before that) decided that I don't belong in her life anymore. Yeah it hurt for a while, but time really does heal all. The only thing I find myself worrying about is finding someone and settling down before I'm 30, but who knows if I'll even have the time to worry about that during grad school.

 

I'll most likely be moving to the midwest from NYC, so I have so many new experiences to look forward to. I agree with JungWild&Free... I think this is for the best anyways. From what I've seen and heard, the connections you make during grad school will most likely be the most important ones.

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Hi there,

 

The second month into my PhD, I ended my 5 year relationship. The breakup was very painful, poisonous, and vicious. At the time, it was hard. Battling the emotions everyday; figuring out the logistics of moving while managing course work, writing grant applications, and RA work; and putting on a brave face at school and work was so difficult. I can remember getting an email from him in the middle of the day at work, and having to quietly leave and cry in the bathroom. So yeah...it sucked. (throwing out his $300 golf shoes did feel good though!!)

 

With all that said...it was worth it. It gave me a sense of 'rebirth' (that sounds so new-age!)..but it's true! I got to go back an experience grad school being single and having the freedom to do whatever. I didn't have the constriction of catering to another person- I could work until 4am (or party!)....It REALLY changed me, and for the better.

 

So while it's hard now...know that you'll get through it. I didn't think I would ever heal or be able to move on- but I did. Take the time to recover and heal- it takes awhile.But know that afterwards, you'll be okay- and you'll be able to start over on an exciting path!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I actually think that grad school may be the best thing you can do given your situation! 

You'll be able to start fresh, in a new town, with only yourself on your mind. And I'm sure you won't be the only one going through this at the start of grad school. Many people who are in relationships now must make the choice to start a long distance relationship or break-up, and I think it's more common for people to spilt, so you will have company.

 

My ex brokeup with me a few weeks before I left for my study abroad experience. I was an emotional wreck, but as soon as I stepped foot into a new country, I felt so refreshed. Having a new start is exactly what I needed, and I even bonded with a girl who was going through a breakup as well, and she became one of my best friends. I was still emotionally screwed up for many months, but being exposed to a new situation definitely eases the pain.

It sucks, but you'll get through this. Good luck <3

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