I’ve been bouncing this blog post idea around for a bit. It definitely is not for everyone and I want to address that right off. Graduate student stipends are so varied even within a single university. Not everyone can afford to live on a grad student stipend alone. Not everyone can afford to spend money on some of the items I’m suggesting in this post. Loads of graduate students are still paying off loans from undergrad, or even accruing more as they study. I can’t address everyone’s financial status in one post. But I am privileged enough to be able to scrape together enough to afford some of the following every so often and have found that they can be a great help in regard to time and stress. And what graduate student wouldn’t want more time and less stress?
Several of the links in this post include referral links from the author.
Where. Has. Summer. Gone? Courses start back up for me in just a few days and I’m not prepared. I’m excited that everyone is back in town and to meet the incoming first years, but seriously. Classes? Already?!
::deep breath:: … ::another deep breath::
Let’s do this.
I still get so excited about the start of the school year, even now going into the 22nd grade. I know, what a nerd, right? Thank you. But it’s a time for fresh starts, and I think we can all agree how nice that can be while in graduate school. Lots of people seem to be into making new year’s resolutions on January 1st, but that’s weird because everyone knows the year begins in August/September right? January 1 is for birthday brunches and paying attention to me! Now is for New (School) Year Resolutions. [Editor’s Note: Mer is so lucky because our college friends are always together on her birthday. So spoiled.]
find that there’s generally a lull in August. This year that brief period of calm happened for me between the end of presenting at the Joint Statistical Conference on the 3rd and when class start on Monday. My research motivation is at a low, since I no longer have a big looming deadline, but my personal, overall motivational levels after a brief reprieve in Chicago are surging. I plan on using my time this weekend to relax but also to position myself to start off the semester well and get some major momentum going. That way, when I’m stalling mid-semester I can coast a bit.
Sometimes graduate school feels like diving into a lake on an early summer morning. You know the cold will be shocking, but you feel confident that you’ll adjust. You can’t quite see below the surface of the water, but you’re excited to submerge your head and open your eyes. You swim out away from the shore. It’s challenging. And thrilling. You’re testing yourself, and your body is responding. It’s downright joyful.
Sometimes, it’s like that dream you have just as you’re drifting off to sleep, where you feel like you’re falling. You’re stomach and your heart are up in your throat. You realize, on some level, that if you had the presence of mind to check, you’d probably actually be wearing a parachute. But you can’t check, so you don’t. And, in all likelihood, you’ll wake up with a gasp in your own bed, finding you aren’t falling at all, though you’ll still feel it in the pit of your stomach. But you’ll go back to sleep, and when you wake up, you’ll probably think “Hey, I think I’d like a swim.”