Between running studies for your research, trying to get enough clinical hours, classes, comprehensive examinations, supervising undergraduates, lab meetings, teaching assistance-ships, and many other graduate school demands, it is sometimes a great accomplishment to squeeze in a few moments for lunch.
There is a general tacit agreement among graduate students and oftentimes, their supervisors, that achieving work-life balance is hard enough given the demanding schedules of graduate school, but achieving work-life-and-family balance can feel near impossible. Although it may be challenging, it is not impossible.
My story began and was written before the current crisis, which is causing waves of grief and trauma for numerous graduate students and professionals. I was fortunate, if there is such a thing for grief, to have had a “traditional” grieving process. I was able to attend a funeral and have others there with me. This is unfortunately not true for many during these times. It is a hope that you can take this and adjust the overall themes for your situation, and to know that the overwhelming pain of grief can and will ease over time, even when it feels impossible. I am a fourth-year doctoral student, and my father died close to a year and a half ago. At the time, I was finishing the second year of my program. No one could possibly prepare you for the loss of a parent, but especially not when you are in the midst of a graduate program. I was in the middle of taking classes, nearing the end of my first practicum, and preparing to start writing my dissertation when I experienced one of the hardest losses of my life. My Story My story began the Friday before Memorial Day in 2018. That evening and the morning of June 8, just two weeks later, will be two days that will forever be ingrained into my memory. Before this day, my dad had not been doing well for a while. He was sleeping more,... Continue Reading
Planning for a baby during your internship year might seem like a daunting task. For me, however, this had been my plan throughout graduate school, as I wanted to take advantage of my health insurance coverage on internship, and then also spend some time as a stay-at-home parent while studying for the EPPP (and recovering from grad school burn out) before starting postdoc. My son was born on June 26, 2018—less than two months shy of my original internship end date and three months shy of my graduation requirements. This is how I planned for my paid maternity leave during internship, finished my dissertation (with mastitis!), and graduated on time.
I don’t remember much about grad school orientation day. I do remember being completely dismissive about the whole affair, wanting nothing more than to just hit the ground running. I remember a speaker saying, “Life happens while you’re here.” I laughed off that comment and thought, Life won’t “happen” until four years from now when I’m finally in the real world doing what I love. Like the rest of that speech, the rest of orientation day remains a blur.