Saturday, November 13, 2010

Reflections of a Time-Starved Grad Student

A friend of mine in the Masters in Linguistics program here at UNH remarked recently that graduate school represents an incredibly unique and strange period in a person's life, because there is literally always something you could be doing.

This is not an exaggeration. No matter when in the semester, what time of day or day of the week--even on vacations, too--there is something I could, or even should, be doing that is school-related. I should be doing work right now. This very second.

Even the times when I am on top of my schoolwork, have all my papers graded, and have finished the week's readings, I should be doing research for my final papers, or preparing for my thesis in some way. I shouldn't be wandering the kitchen section of Goodwill, or perusing page after page on various fashion and kitchen blogs.

The thing is, though, we all need a little down time. I have recently spoken with two of my freshmen who are feeling overwhelmed with their coursework. Both complained that there just isn't enough time, that they feel completely cut off from their friends, and that they still aren't managing to get all of their work done.

My advice? Stop doing your homework. Make time to be social, to forget about your schoolwork for a few hours. And then, of course, get back into your damn dorm room and finish that response paper you owe me.

On that note, I'm off to have dinner with a friend. I need a break.


Chelsea said...

Oh, I am feeling this SO much right now. Last night we ran into one of Matt's students who was just back from "vacation" (we had reading week) and she was like, "Don't worry, I worked on my paper on the plane. Did you have a good break?" Um, sure. We did the same things we always do...worked on our damn dissertations. Vacation = fewer distractions from work.

Anonymous said...

Did you secretly hack my Sunday Journal e-mail that I sent to my professor about this same subject? It's true, though-- I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother, but I could have been working on a history paper. I could fold my laundry, but then I'd have to not read my textbook.

Guh. Blerg.