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All Your Stressing is Stressing Me Out!

March 12, 2013
As you know if you follow our blog at least a little bit, I go to graduate school— why, because I post about it all the time, that’s why.  Well, as a matter of course, many of my friends (excepting three of naughty princesses, obviously!) are also graduate students.  And although I love my friends, if I were to attempt to characterize my fellow advanced-degree-seeking comrades in one word that word would have to be ‘stressed’.
 Now, it might be that my experience is slightly skewed due to the particularly competitive nature of my university  (aside: new Times university rankings  are out, by the way.  Can I get a number one in Europe?  Holla!).    So yes, school is hard.  I know.  But I feel like the people around me are stressed, all the time.  As sad as this might sound, I sometimes avoid even asking my friends how things are going because I have learned that little question invites an in-depth discussion on what needs to be done, how it can’t be done, how little time there is, and how the world in general is conspiring against them getting their work done.
But really, as I’ve learned, things do get done.  Generally assignments get turned in, no one gets kicked out, and although your supervisor may or may not be impressed with your work, in the end everything will be fine.  Perhaps I have some sort of preternatural gift, but I really don’t find my work that stressful.  Now maybe that is because I do work—a lot—and thus rarely feel  the weight of impending deadlines as much as some of my compkeep-calmatriots who are more likely to procrastinate.  But still, even then, stressing never got anyone further ahead.
It just makes me sad to see the people around me so constantly frantic or bogged-down under stress.   It seems to me that if you are constantly stressing, you never get the opportunity to enjoy what you are doing.   For me at least, the whole point of being a scholar is to get to read and ruminate over ideas—to enjoy the slow pleasure of learning.  But  looking around me, I don’t really see people enjoying themselves at all.    Everyone around me is competing to move up the ladder- to get into good programs, to get funding, to get teaching positions- but sometimes I wonder: why?  If graduate school makes you stressed and unhappy, what is to say that being a professor who has to balance research, teaching, and administration, will be any better?   Maybe I am being negative, I don’t know, but Cinderslut wrote a post a while ago about how college might not always be the best choice financially, but I also feel like graduate work in particular isn’t right for everyone.
I love graduate school.  I love that I get to spend my days reading and thinking.   But it’s not for everyone.   I sometimes feel like the people around me need to learn to chill out more and enjoy their experience, many of them are, after all, paying thousands of pounds to be here.  And, if at the end  of the day they don’t enjoy what they’re doing, they should find something else.  Now is the best moment and it shouldn’t be spent being stressed.
One Comment leave one →
  1. March 14, 2013 1:35 pm

    now is totally the best moment. and girl, you make grad school look gooooooood.

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