How Do I Deal With Life in Grad School? COMMUNICATE!

This last week has been the pits for me; First, I got sick, and then a small piece of my back tooth came out, and I need a crown (MAYBE $750 🙁 ). I still have so much to complete to stay on track (a detailed critique/commentary for one class, and I must read a book for another class by tomorrow) but throughout the weekend my body was simply not functioning. So I did what I could during the week, and when everything ended Friday I headed home. I made soup with onions, jalapenos, and green onions and curled up in bed.

A major challenge we face as graduate students (or others in hyper productive environments) is that we get so used to being productive (or at least striving to be) that when we are not working, we experience guilt to different degrees. And this can really weigh down our future efforts.

I was in the bed, sick from the flu, with a toothache I would wish on no one, and yet I still worried about getting my work done, and what would my professors think of me if I did not live up to their expectations. BUT LIFE HAPPENS!!

Which is why in addition to taking care of yourself when your body needs to get back to even, you also need to gain comfort in communicating with people when and why you cannot meet your obligations ASAP. I am going to the dentist to (Hopefully) get my tooth fixed shortly. And if they are able to repair my tooth today, its quite possible that I won’t be able to do anything for a day or two.

And if that’s the case, they I will contact all the necessary people (profs, students, etc.) that I will be unavailable due to my dental issues for X amount of time. By doing so, I’m not neglecting my duties, but rather making sure I am in the proper condition to execute my duties to the fullest of my abilities when I get well. So please, COMMUNICATE early! It cultivates inside you the reminder that life happens, and in doing so you develop better communication between yourself and your advocates.