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Extracurricular commitments?

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So, does anyone here have any extracurricular commitments?  Do you guys do things like play club sports, be a part of a marching band, etc.?  Looking at grad schools (particularly in B1G and Pac-12) for my Masters in C.S. and wanted some insight as to what life is like at such places.

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During my MA, I couldn't make time to do marching band, but I did join the alumni band at Homecoming and played DnD with a few groups pretty regularly. I also have my own Twitch channel and was better about streaming when I was in my MA than now, haha. Ultimately, you need to find the balance of being committed to your studies without letting it take over your life.

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I was very involved in extracurricular as an undergraduate student. I started volunteering at the age of 12. So it's very natural for me to keep being involved. I am at the end of my first semester in my master's program, I am a full-time student and I was able to volunteer quite a lot this term along with my courses. I think it depends a lot on your time management skills and your ability to cope with pressure and multiple commitments at once. I won't say it was easy, but I managed to make it through this semester with a perfect average so far (I have 3 assignments left to hand in). I think it's also important to prioritize and say no to things. I've said no to a lot of other commitments I could have. I tried to pick the commitments that would be best for my professional development and a potential Ph.D. application. Two birds one stone, kind of. 

Edited by Adelaide9216

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Yes! Right now, I'm in dance, a martial art, and a figure skating group and participate very often (every practice for all of them). This is in addition to independently studying two foreign languages and learning guitar as well as regularly working out. My academics haven't suffered as a result either - in fact I just published a paper in a journal! :D

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i ride my bike competitively. If I join the school's team this year, there's a good chance I'll get to ride at nationals with 2, maybe 3 other strong riders from my school. However, it's a balancing game, and you have to make sacrifices. I can't ride my bike as much as I'd like, because I have to commit most of my time to grad school. I also have other interests I want to pursue, like recently I've been going out ~2x/week, and been taking weekly salsa. the late nights don't blend well with the early mornings.. suffice to say, I could progress a lot faster as a cyclist if I didn't have other things going on, but anyone can say that about anything.. My boss doesn't like it when he seems me in a cycling kit. He basically made me agree that I would only ride before or after I put in my time in the lab, not in between, because that can rub off on others, and disrupt the group or something. But it's entirely up to you how much effort you want to put in to a given hobby. 

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In grad school, I trained a martial art (umm... 5-6 times a week for 1.5-2 hours a day) and had a weekly trivia game with friends. We also did regular game nights, happy hours, and several other things. So yes, it's definitely possible to have extracurricular commitments. Something like marching band which might involve travel all weekend (Friday-Sunday) might be more difficult to juggle with classes, colloquium, and the other requirements of grad school.

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On 12/6/2017 at 3:11 PM, spectastic said:

i ride my bike competitively. If I join the school's team this year, there's a good chance I'll get to ride at nationals with 2, maybe 3 other strong riders from my school. 

Same - it usually takes about 10-15 hours of my week (plus showering and data crunching and eating ALL THE FOOD). I had to give it up cold turkey to do prelims, though. I've gained 15 pounds in 3 months, and can't wait for the holiday break. 

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Here I have people who want academic careers in mind.

To quote a senior person I know: "When I hit third year I realized that I couldn't have any hobbies if I wanted to be successful."  Some hyperbole, but it's true that hobbies don't help your CV.  That said, no hobbies isn't healthy. (This guy also said, "If you think you have good work-life balance, it means you're not working enough," which is a little bit delusional.)  So have as many extracurriculars as you need to stay sane but always remember that research comes first. The students I knew who had the most hobbies were also the ones who didn't get tenure track jobs.

Edited by lewin

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