Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Survive Grad School

Hi Faithful Readers,

It has been TOO long! Part of the reason why it has been too long is because this past semester I started my practicum part of grad school, and with that comes completing practicum hours.  I spent 75 hours with a family practice physician, in addition to holding down my full-time job at Bergan.

So, onto the title of the blog post.."How to Survive Grad School." I have a few tips for any of you who might be considering tackling grad school and maintaining your full time job.

1. Work Less. Figure out how few hours you can work while still being able to pay bills, keep your benefits,  be able to eat, and have a little fun.  For me, this meant cutting down from 36 hours to 32 hours. Just a 4 hour difference, but those 8 hour days make a HUGE difference. Work until 3:30 pm, and you still have a majority of the day left to get any errands run, homework done, or maybe slip in a  nap!

2. Get a massage. Find a Massage Therapist and treat yourself once a month to a relaxing one hour. I'm pretty sure it's good for your body, soul, and mind. When I got my tax return, I went to my massage therapist, Tree, who makes me fall asleep drooling, and asked her if I paid for 12 massages up front (1 for every month of the year), if she would give me a deal. And, she did. It is so relaxing, and a much needed break from the rush of school.

(Here is a link to Tree's website if you are interested: Dundee Massage ).

3. Invest in a Vera Bradley Planner. These planners are a bit large, but so helpful when you have to coordinate school, work, friends, dinners, events, birthdays, and the list goes on and on. They are also pretty adorable. I do have one suggestion that I got from Dave's Godmother, Connie, whic was to pick one color and use that for work, pick another color and used that for school, etc. It helps to color code things, makes things more clearer in my mind at least! 

(Here is a link to the A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E Vera Bradley Planner: Vera Bradley Planner ).

4. Hit the Gym. If I had a big test in undergrad, I would stress myself out so much that I would tell myself I would not have any time for anything but studying. I probably spent more time procrastinating just by telling myself that, and I definitely wouldn't have been able to make the gym a priority that week. Even with the busy schedule I had with school, clinic, and work this past semester though, I would look at the gym schedule for the classes (I love the classes), and I would find one that worked, pack my gym clothes the night before, and just throw it into the pile of bags that I took out the door with me. Worked like a charm.

5. Add supportive people to your life. This semester was trying and so, so busy that sometimes I got a bit overwhelmed. So, thank you to my love, Dave, for all the dinners you have cooked, quizzing me over my flashcards, the "good luck on your test" text messages,  the gas tanks you've filled, and the hugs at the end of the day when it seemed like I would never make it to May 4th. Thank you to my family for having us out to dinner, and to my mom for having breakfast with me sometimes before clinic! Thank you to my rooms, Ames, who did my laundry for me one week! Thank you to Connie who went and got me groceries when I pulled my back out. Thank you to my bestie, Gwenn, who makes the best breakfast, coffee, and provides the best girlfriend chats! I'm sure there is more, but know that I truly am grateful for the support throughout grad school, and I love you all!

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