There are good days and there are bad days. Oh boy, are there bad days. There are also days that are neither good nor bad, but ultimately they also suck because you just really needed that good day this week and it hasn’t happened yet and someone said something that pissed you off but you didn’t say anything and you’re just on the brink of flipping a table and leaving, but instead you just take an early day and proceed to blast music and drown out your thoughts. That was today. In case anyone cares.
If I have learned nothing else in the three months that I’ve been a grad student, I have at least discovered that grad school is hard and stressful and does a great job of sucking away your motivation to do anything beyond vegetating on the couch. On the plus side, I have also discovered how to prevent weird rollercoaster of emotion from taking over my life. How, you ask? Two words: Coping Mechanisms.
I am still discovering how I cope with this new stage of my life. After all, I’m not even half way through my first year of my grad school sentence. However, I do have a few things that I ultimately turn whether it’s a mediocre day, a “nothing special day” or a “why did I do this to myself” day.
One coping method I use is the sit on the couch and scroll through Tumblr method. Some mindless scrolling through pretty pictures and the occasional other grad student complaining about life just makes the world seem a little less ick. I have also resorted to the sitting on the couch and watch my guilty pleasure: Youtuber vlogs. Why? Because if my life isn’t all that great, let’s watch someone else’s life that is supposed to be interesting (in theory, of course). I also have the binge watch Netflix. And if it’s a really bad day, I occasionally do any of these things with a glass of what I like to call “grad student elixir.” (That’s code for alcohol, in case you didn’t guess.)
Of course, daily coping only goes so far. Sometimes you just need that break. I highly suggest taking at least one day every week (or two weeks) in order to not go crazy. I feel that has been my trick to not going crazy thus far. During these breaks, I do something besides being a couch potato. For instance, I have a wonderful boyfriend that likes to treat me to a date day. Nothing fancy. Just a nice meal and wandering the nearby cities for something interesting to do. I also have awesome friends: one set from my undergrad and another from grad school. Both sets have their benefits. For my undergrad friends, we talk about anything but school, which is nice as a mental break. For my grad school friends…well, let’s just say there’s a lot of complaining inserted into our conversations.
Okay, so why am I writing this? Well 1) this blog is scattered with personal posts and I just really wanted to rant about something, and 2) a good number of blogs dedicated to grad school things seem to either sugar coat or completely ignore the actual mental and emotional things that grad school brings to the table on daily or weekly basis. Which makes absolutely no sense since it’s the only thing unanimous across the grad student curriculum. Sure, there might be that one weirdo that is happy as a clam and zooming through their years of higher education. But let me tell you, at least every grad student that I have ever talked to, interacted with or internet stalked has gone through these ups and downs several times in their grad school careers.
So yeah. Excuse the cursing but, this shit’s hard.
Man, what an eloquent ending.