The stretch of time between Thanksgiving break and the end of the semester is always rough for me. Thanksgiving break is a glorious week of being at home, spending time with my family, relaxed work hours, and eating, of course. Then, it’s back to Bloomington for three more weeks of real work before another break. How do you keep your head in work mode when all the signs say it’s time to relax?
For me, the time after Thanksgiving means I am well within my rights to play Christmas carols and decorate my apartment. I hang lights, stockings for my dog and me, and drink a lot of hot chocolate. I also take advantage of the cold weather and light my fireplace. It helps to come home to a warm and cozy apartment after a long day of working. Watching holiday-themed movies like Love Actually also help create a festive mood. Another thing that helps is listening to Pandora holiday stations while I’m working. Since I spend most of my days working on my computer anyway, jamming out to holiday music helps break up the monotony. Sometimes I get so into it that it’s hard to keep from singing out loud–but I don’t want to disturb my labmates!
What are some of your end-of-the-semester tricks? Whatever they may be, remember, we’re in the home stretch. It’s the fi-nal count-down!
There’s a running joke that graduate students only know where two buildings on campus are: the building where their classes are held, and the library. Bonus points for other amenities like student union, health center, and gym. As a graduate student at IU, you should add one more to your list: the University Information Technology Services (UITS) building. Continue reading
For me, juggling coursework, research, a teaching assistantship, and any hobbies I might have is quite a challenge. The one thing that always seems to slip through the cracks is cooking.
I don’t enjoy it*. Continue reading
During your first couple months in Bloomington, and at IU, you will undoubtedly be bombarded with announcements about organizations to join, events to attend, places to volunteer…the list goes on and on. Even though it may be tempting to write off these options, I encourage you to say yes! Continue reading
On average, I spend about one weekend in Bloomington per month–a travel schedule that requires a lot of planning ahead. As graduate students, one of the most important skills is time management, and this is especially the case when you travel like crazy. Continue reading
One of the best things about living in Bloomington is that there are an abundance of places to study, which, as a graduate student translates to just about the best thing ever. This summer I studied for my qualifying exam—a comprehensive exam about topics in the field of social psychology. Passing means advancing to Ph.D. candidacy, the home stretch, the final countdown! So, I spent a lot of time reading, reviewing, and reading some more. Now, if you’re anything like me, working in the same place for too long gets pretty monotonous, and working at home might as well be impossible (hello, distractions!). Thankfully, Bloomington had me covered. Below is a list of a few of my favorite places to study around town, and a few quick tips about each place. Happy studying! Continue reading
So, you’re trying to pick between going straight to grad school v. getting a job?
Flip a coin: heads = graduate school; tails = workforce.
Photo from www.codingthewheel.com
What were your results?
I can be really indecisive, and so this exercise was very helpful for me. When I was trying to decide whether I wanted to go to graduate school or not, I considered applying to consulting jobs instead. The ultimate deciding factor was thinking about other people who would go to graduate school and pursue the research questions I was interested in. I was sick with jealousy. The idea that someone else would do the work that I wanted to do made me so angry that I knew graduate school was the only option. It is this passion that gets me through the difficult days. Every day in graduate school is a test, and you have to be certain that the end result (for you) is worth it. You have to be your own cheerleader when a manuscript gets rejected or you get tough critique on a study idea, and at the end of the day, if you’re passionate you will be able to push through those moments.
So, how do you feel about the results of your coin toss? Do you feel the way I did about graduate school, or maybe the workforce? If you’re equally hesitant about both options, gather some more information, and then flip a coin again. Talk to people in the career field you’re interested in, and spend some time with graduate students in the types of programs you would apply to. Really get a sense of what the day-to-day responsibilities of those people are, and imagine yourself doing what they do. What do you feel? Excitement? Dread? Don’t ignore those feelings–use them to make an informed decision. Good luck!