University and Depression part III, or: How my 3rd semester is (not) working out


So some of you may have seen my post, University and depression part I: the undergrad years. I have not yet written part II, which is going to be all about my first year of graduate school on the Masters/PhD track, up to and including failing the quals. Well, logically then, part III would include my 2nd year and beyond, and since I wrote a post about how things are (not) working out right now, I thought I may as well have it be part III of the series.

So yeah. Two words. “Not Working.” That’s about what I think about how my grad school life is going right now. Ok, maybe that’s drastic. But I’m just…not into…doing the classes. I mean like, really… not managing to even go to them all the time. Or put a full effort into the homework. At this point, I’m really just concerned with doing well enough in them to pass, but I’m not even that confident that I am. I’m feeling a bit like I did in some of my classes as an undergrad – sleeping through class begets not turning in homework on time begets being embarrassed to talk to the TA and professor which leads to more of the same.

It would be hard to imagine why I’d stay in school for another four years, but I see a very immediate end to this business with the classes. The rest of my work as a grad student is going fine – in fact, better than fine. I think I’m really in a great place to get where I want to go in my research and my (hopeful) career in academia. I’m a second year student, which at my school means the final semester of my master’s work before I go on to residence units and full-time research. This past summer was full-time research, and I got started and made progress on a lot of projects. My adviser was happy with the work we got done. The paper that we wrote together was published in print in September. All of these things have combined to make me really happy about doing my various research projects, so at this point I really think things will be better when I reach next semester, with my master’s in hand. But I have to actually get there somehow, and I am still completely unable to get into the classes. On top of that, I’m seeing now that I’ll be getting sick more because I’m working with the baby and toddler all the time, and I have a fairly weak immune system, so I’m even more tired and drowsy all the time. I’m sure I can make it through this, but right now, I’m barely getting up the motivation to go to class and do my homework, and it’s hard.

Deep sigh.

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4 thoughts on “University and Depression part III, or: How my 3rd semester is (not) working out

  1. You have a classic case of course-work burn out! I had this BADLY especially b/c it took me so long to become a dissertator that I had to keep taking classes even after I fulfilled my requirements.

    But classes don’t really matter. I mean, they matter in that you get what you need out of them, but the publishing and other work that you’re doing great on is what matters. If you’re applying for an academic job than your grads don’t even really matter. Just get through them and do the bare minimum. Can you talk to your profs about what you can do to just get through the required course work? And maybe make the requirements work with the other work you’re doing (publishing etc.). I think most professors would understand that that is where the importance is anyway.

    And 2nd year is just rough. It gets better with every hoop you jump through. Classes and showing up someplace and doing required readings become torture. I sympathize. Just do what you can to get through it and hang in there! Classes are NO reason to even think about dropping out (although my stats class made me think about it!)

  2. mmmm, I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have your comment – I was just sitting down to do something involved with one of my classes, and feeling completely appalled at how much I just dropped the “classes” ball on Thursday. Thanks for the reassurance!

  3. I skipped HALF of my class sessions. For all my grad school classes. I went to California for three weeks at the beginning of my second semester. And I passed all of them.

    I was pretty much going to say what Watershed did: nobody but fellowships ever sees your grades, and you’re probably past that anyways. Passing grades! Passing grades! I think you just have to jump through the hoop. You don’t even have to learn anything! Besides, your work is going well and that’s what really matters. 🙂

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