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Post Info TOPIC: Graduate School Stress Management?

Honoured Mook

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Posts: 209
Graduate School Stress Management?

Graduate school has been, by far, one of the most stressful experiences of my life.  It has also been incredibly rewarding and I love the study, but managing the stress has been remarkably difficult.


I don't have any friends in graduate study, either. Very few of my friends have even completed college so I'm finding it difficult to find people to relate to in the discussion of stress-management when "take some time off from studying" isn't even an available option.


So I'll ask you, Mooksters: What do you do to manage stress for graduate school assignments? How do relax when there's almost always readings to be done, research to be checked, and papers to write? Do you have any advice for others?

Die, v.: To stop sinning suddenly. -Elbert Hubbard

Booky Mooky (mod)

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Posts: 2598

Howdy! I'm in the second year of a part time MA, having cut my hours down after my first term because I found full-time study wayyyyy too stressful. If you can do that, it's a pretty good option - I work part time in a local pub and do freelance writing as well so I'm financially better off and it means I have to spend some time out of academia during the week which can be really refreshing.

This semester is much busier than normal for me as I'm writing my thesis on top of my other assignments, but the best thing I've found so far is to give myself a timetable - figure out when you work best and make a timetable accordingly. Another good tip is to treat it like a 9-5 job (or 10-6 if you have a lot of late nights) and plan your time so that you have breathing space at the end of the day to relax - whether that be reading for fun, cooking something nice for dinner, seeing friends, or just watching telly. Make a to-do list and do the most pressing items first so that you aren't worrying about them. If you submit something for a deadline? Celebrate having done it, even if that only means taking a 5 minute break to make a cup of tea.

Finally, making friends on your course is really important because they understand how hard it is! On my course it's really easy to get chatting in seminars so a few of us will go to the pub or grab a coffee after class and it's great because we'll all talk about research that interests us, but also vent about how hard postgrad life is. It's amazing how reassuring it is to find that everybody is stressed and having to do things last-minute and everybody makes jokes about it.

[Insert clichéd signature here]

-Proud (and fertile!) Mooky Grandfather-
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