Feeling Stuck in Grad School

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I was warned, even before I started grad school, that there will be at least one point during my five-year PhD where I would get stuck. It might be because a key experiment won’t work for weeks on end or the data I manage to get simply isn’t adding up—whatever it was it would be a very obnoxious rough patch and getting over it definitely wouldn’t be easy. In fact, I might find myself even tempted to quit.

But young, naïve little Krystal kind of just shrugged off the thought. That won’t happen to me, I assured myself. Besides, even if it does, I’ll get over it because I’m doing what I love! That’ll be enough to pull me through, right? I just have to keep the end goal in mind! Right?

…right?

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Motivate Yourself!

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajaaaaajdi4otjhndu2ltiznditngq5zc1hogu4ltfmmmrmmjdkyjhkoaAnother personal post? What is this? I guess I just have a lot of feelings going into my second year which apparently get written out at 2 AM when I’m home alone (which means this was written last week. So hello from past Krystal!) Don’t worry! There are some tips at the end and if you don’t want to read through all the narrative, feel free to skip straight there.

I’ve been feeling a giant lack of motivation lately in just about everything in my life. And this is bad…because I feel like I have a lot to do. I have to write. I have to figure out the next step in lab. I have to figure out what the hell this pile of data means. I have to sort of, kind of start thinking about candidacy. And I have to appear like I’ve made some sort of progress before I have a meeting with my boss in October. Yikes!  It’s gotten to the point where I feel that if I keep feeling unmotivated like this–if i keep procrastinating–everything is just going to go to pure…shit, for lack of a better word. And shit is not what I want in my life right now. So, in a desperate effort, I’ve been trying to pinpoint the reason for all these negative feelings (and by pinpoint I mean lying on the floor, blasting angsty music in my hears wondering why the world hates me) and I think that I’ve finally narrowed it down.

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Adulting Fails

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So recently, a lot has been happening in my life. Not just with grad school, but real actual adult life too. And I can honestly say that some days just end up being complete and utter chaos. It’s so frustrating! I curse the day when tiny Krystal in pig tails said she wanted to “grow up.” 0/10. Would not recommend.

Anyway, I have recently watched this video by Jenna Marbles and this video by Grace Helbig (because Youtube is my guilty pleasure) and I really liked the idea they had about expelling all that negative energy in hopes that some good vibes will replace them. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m releasing all my recent adulting fails to the internet universe and hope that this will result in me becoming an actual functioning adult. (Or at the very least make someone feel better that they’re a better adult than I am…which isn’t hard.)

Will it work? Who knows. But enjoy the pictures, gifs, weird emojis and pathetic failures along the way!
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Grad Student Guilt: Taking Breaks

Disclaimer: Though this article mainly talks about grad school experiences, this topic is applicable to many different types of people and the advice is applicable to anyone who feels the expectation to be constantly working. 

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Grad school is an interesting beast. You’re neither a student, nor an Adult(TM) and as such, you really get none of the benefits from either category. That is, you don’t have the surplus of free time between classes that you once had in college, nor does work limit itself to 40 hours a week like it tends to do in Adult World. Continue reading

Grad School: The Temptation to Quit

Though this blog post is directed towards those going through difficult grad school experiences, the advice given is completely applicable for anyone going through similar situations.

167It was a bad quarter. Though I somehow managed to escape relatively unscathed and pass my classes… hell is not an adequate enough word to describe how low some days got. In fact, some days my mental health was in such peril that many times I felt like walking into my boss’s office and tell him to take me off the project I’m working on… or, on the worst days, tell him I’m quitting the program for good.

In the end, I did neither of these things and after a day or two the feelings passed. However, I remember that afterwards I just felt so guilty. Because, here I am. I’m the first in my family that has been given the opportunity to graduate from college and continue my higher education. I have a rare chance to pursue a career that I am so passionate for and possibly make a difference. Yet, for some reason, despite all this, I’ve thought of walking away countless times. Quitting. Continue reading

Tips for Studying on your Period

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Periods. They can be uncomfortable and annoying to deal with. Unfortunately, though, life doesn’t stop for your period and those times of discomfort can arrive during times when term papers are due, exams are quickly approaching and studying just needs to get done. So, here are some things I do when I’m on my period in order to ease the symptoms and keep my mind sharp and focused! Continue reading

Good days; Bad days.

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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. Continue reading

Things I wish I knew before I started “adulting”

e6043ac6c2dafd1ce43b4061d98f89bbHello everyone! I hope the new year has been treating you well so far!

So, I’ve realized that 2015 consisted of a lot of “growing up” and learning how to “adult.” It was weird, and sometimes scary and confusing, but I got through it. And, what better way to celebrate surviving another year than by sharing knowledge in hopes it can help you all survive another year too!

Below is a list (in no particular order) of things I wish I knew before I really started “adulting.” Now, I use the term “adulting” because doing adult things starts at different points of life for everyone. For some, it’s moving away from home to the dorms for college. For others, it’s getting a job after graduation. For me, it was putting on my big girl pants, moving out of my mom’s, renting an apartment with my boyfriend and starting grad school.

Either way, no matter what “adulting” means to you, here are some things that I wish I knew before I entered the “real world.”

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10 Perspectives for Prospectives

Hello, my friends!

So, myself and a lot of other people on the interwebs have been celebrating the fact that we’ve survived our first quarter/semester of grad school! Oof! It was quite an emotional rollercoaster, that’s for damn sure. In addition to celebrating, some of the lovely people on Tumblr are also using their first semester experiences to share some insider’s perspective on what those first few months will really be like. I wanted to do the same! (And also wanted a reason to look up gifs in my spare time).

So, below are 10 things that I observed and experienced during my first quarter of grad school! I hope this gives some perspective to those prospective grad students (see what I did there?) who soon be joining in our misery adventures!

Enjoy!

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