Yes, I myself dread spring-break. I really do. When I was an undergraduate, spring-break literally and figuratively meant a BREAK. No homework, no readings, no nothing! Break was all about the beaches, drinks, and Netflix. You honestly did your best to break, and forget about academics for a week. But the golden days of truly “breaking” for spring-break are over once you enter grad school. Now, its about strategically using your time.
Along with being accepted into a graduate program comes so many false myths and hard-to-believe but tough-to-deny seemingly true realities. One of these ever-so-popular beliefs is that graduate school is all about work, work, and more work. Period. Why? Because you won’t have time for anything else. I am happy to inform you that this is far from the truth.
As an aspiring student affairs professional, if I have not learned anything else in my graduate studies, I have learned that ALL students should have diverse learning experiences that help them grow and develop holistically. Sometimes these experiences happen outside of the classroom in extracurricular activities. This does not only hold true for undergraduate students but for graduate students as well! It is so important to get involved in student organizations.
Sometimes, writing a dissertation can be exhilarating. There is nothing like that day that you check something major over the ToDo list. On other days, however, it can be lonely and/or boring. On those days, it really helps to reach out to others who have been where you are. Here are links to a few of those blogs:
- The Thesis Whisperer: http://thesiswhisperer.com/
- Chaos and Noise: http://morsla.wordpress.com/
- Research Tales: http://joannelehrer.wordpress.com/
- PhD Talk: http://phdtalk.blogspot.com.au/
- Conditionally Accepted: http://conditionallyaccepted.com/
- PhD comics: www.phdcomics.com
I hope they help you remember that you are not alone.
Managing your time as a PhD student is exhausting. I often find myself blinking at the sheer number of tasks that need to be completed. Since the start of this academic year, I have juggled revisions on my parts of my dissertation, learning Swahili, attending research skills workshops, writing conference presentations, teaching, and managing my three non-dissertation research projects. Even though I have experience in these areas, they still take lots of time. I dream about having a research assistant. LOL.
I know that there are two types of people in my PhD world: (1) those who are productive by nature; and (2) everyone else. This post is for that second group. Continue reading
The picture above is my weekly meal prep time. It may look like too much food but its an easy way to save money and time for anyone and everyone, whether you are a graduate student or not. Clockwise from top left I have tilapia, pork chops, chicken and potatoes, ground beef and salsa, and steak burgers. Cooking in bulk will save you time because you cook one time for the whole week.
Just a few pointers/tips so you can experiment with meal prepping:
#1- CROCKPOTS I have 2 and I will put meats/veggies in them and let them cook on low or high for hours. EXAMPLE: chicken breasts or drumsticks with some garlic, salt, pepper, and cajun spice and chicken broth on low for 6 hours. Then you can just broil them for a few minutes to get the skin crispy.
#2- EGGS I hard boil about 10-12 eggs for easy breakfast or snacks. I don’t have time to scramble eggs everyday.
#3- FISH So you cant make a ton of fish and expect it to stay fresh- but it will last a day or two. I love tilapia for breakfast. I buy a ton of frozen tilapia fillets. Thaw them and put some cajun or chipotle seasoning on it. Heat a bit of olive oil in non-stick pan and sear it. Adding green chile sauce to it while its in the pan. Easy, fast, lean protein.
#4- LOTS OF TUPPERWARE Yep you need a lot to save in fridge or freezer and to take with you everywhere.
#5- MRS DASH SEASONING (no salt) Great and easy seasoning. I have a cabinet full. Most spices and marinades are full of sodium.
These are just a few suggestions to make life easier when schedules are chaotic!
I can truthfully say I have NEVER pulled an ALLNIGHTER in all my undergraduate and graduate career. Want know how? Continue reading
Finding time for your research around your class, teaching, and work schedules may seem daunting by itself – but what about fitting your schooling and research into your long term plan, applying for jobs, figuring out a place to live, and finally starting your career? It can all be overwhelming – but like a puzzle, once you find the corners, build the edges, and sort the pieces, everything starts to fall into place and the middle begins to fill in.
So don’t despair – there is hope! No matter how despondent you may feel at times, hold the line and keep plugging along, because you will piece your puzzle together and reach your goals. Continue reading
Once you get into graduate school and arrive on campus, you’ll probably take a little time to get settled into the town, your program, and your routine. After that though, what then? Well, fortunately there are number of great student organizations that you can choose to become a part of.
As a graduate student, you are automatically eligible to join the Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO), the official campus-wide student government body for graduate and professional students. There are also programs such as the Emissaries for Graduate Student Diversity that work in a more focused manner to promote a more specific interest, such as diversity. Some of these organizations are specific to graduate students and gives you a chance to interact with people outside of your own department, which is always a great opportunity to broaden your horizons.
Each individual school and department is also likely to have its own student government organization, which is a great opportunity to get involved, get to know other students and faculty, and share your input on a variety of topics that are important to your experience while here at IU and for future students.
Beyond organizations such as these there are innumerable other clubs and organizations that encompass almost any interest. Many of these are open to both undergraduate and graduate students, so it’s a good opportunity to get to know more people beyond just graduate students.
When it comes down to it, getting involved is a great opportunity for you to balance your work and schooling with something that you’re passionate and interested in. You can also meet many great new people and develop personal and professional relationships that can last far beyond school. So go ahead and take a look to see what’s out there for you, who knows what doors will open when you get involved in a graduate student organization.
The start of the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has, and will, force me to better manage my time for the next couple of weeks. It is such a great time to invite people over to my apartment; I usually describe myself as someone more reserved with social outings, but it’s nice to cheer on teams and people in sports that we have never, or rarely, play with others. You can look on the 2014 Olympics as a political, sports, and social event – basically something for everyone.