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!!

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Resources to Take Advantage Of

Sometime school can be stressful…okay, school is usually stressful, especially during the week preceding an examination, presentation, or really just any deadline.  There are many people to help you de-stress: friends and family foremost.  But IU also has several people/places to help too.

One building for sure that has helped me, both body and soul, has been at the IU Health Center.

IU Bloomington Health Center

IU Bloomington Health Center

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Getting sick

….is not a good time, especially when you’re trying to complete all of the tasks you’ve assigned yourself.  Just to get this out on the table: I tend not to slow down when ill, even when it’s serious.  Many years ago, while studying in a foreign country, I refused to see a doctor for what I felt sure was a bad cold.  It turned out–when I finally agreed to see one–that I had bronchitis and walking pneumonia, and was about a week away from a collapsed lung.  Since then, when I feel illness coming on, I take a break.  Actually, no, I don’t.  But–the moral of this story is–I should!  And so should you.  If there’s an upside to being sick, it’s that we’re forced to move at a slower pace, to take more time doing things–and maybe even to find balance (see my last post) in our hectic lives.