• Just breathe.

    Posted on February 18th, 2012 kr No comments

    I’ve decided that I am going to treat this blog like a nice mix between and online journal full of academic rantings and…well…maybe something more thought provoking? But, then again, rantings can sometimes lead to some of the most interesting types of thought…

    I’m in my 3rd year of graduate studies toward a Ph.d, and what I’m finally becoming acutely aware of (not that I wasn’t moderately aware in the past), is the difficult situation or obstacle it can be to try to balance school work, work-work, extra school work, studying for prelims, and life in general (which to me entails trying to squeeze in exercise, eating healthy, being social maybe once a month, paying bills, grocery shopping for said healthy food, giving time to personal relationships, and oh, did I mention? Finding time to breathe.)

    Well, I guess it’s true, life is what we make of it.  Last week was an over-load and half. Proctoring two exams, grading those exams as a TA (this is what made things most difficult because I got them on Monday around 5pm and was expected to have them graded by Wed. morning…it is no easy task trying to find 8 hours to grade in one day. Grading in itself is bad enough, but having such a short window to find that kind of time…that’s the kicker. Sadly, I’m sure many fellow grad students can relate.) , putting together a lit review as  RA, preparing a presentation for a qualitative methodology course, readings and assignments for two other courses…and the list continues. In one word: Overwhelming.  But, on the brighter side, I have a similar amount of tasks this week, but it’s not as overwhelming. The difference?  I’m refusing to be overwhelmed and being sure to take time to move, not being chained to my desk, to go for a jog, to eat dinner in peace, not while trying to continue grading, and to just take a minute every now and then to breath.

    As new graduate students we are told to be sure to enjoy life and not get too caught up in our work.  It seems that the closer you come to a major stepping stone–defending a Master’s Thesis, preparing for prelim exams, finishing coursework, teaching your first solo course, etc– the more true and vital this little piece of advice becomes.

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