Jan 25, 2011
69
15
Status
has anyone had the experience of dealing with "whiny" classmates? i have no qualms about age difference and the different backgrounds/levels of experience. my issue is mostly with the lack of preparation for doctoral level work or just knowing then to bite the bullet and get things done. i hear so often "omg, that's so much reading"..."omg i can't believe we have 10 pgs to write". i know there is a healthy level of complaining, but i am just shocked at how little work people want at times. :confused:
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Moderator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
7,814
2,388
Status
Psychologist
has anyone had the experience of dealing with "whiny" classmates? i have no qualms about age difference and the different backgrounds/levels of experience. my issue is mostly with the lack of preparation for doctoral level work or just knowing then to bite the bullet and get things done. i hear so often "omg, that's so much reading"..."omg i can't believe we have 10 pgs to write". i know there is a healthy level of complaining, but i am just shocked at how little work people want at times. :confused:
Depends on the program I would imagine, although by and large, I've noticed that us clinical psych folks do tend to complain a lot when it comes to school. I try not to do so very often myself, mostly because I know how much it annoys me when classmates continually drone on about how much they hate their lab, how X is unfair, etc. I don't hear as much in the way of complaints about the amount of work (unless it's something horrendous); it's more about personality clashes and the like.
 
Jul 24, 2011
100
0
Status
Psychology Student
I honestly don't think this is unique to psych students. I've heard that grad students in general are known to complain and or whine.

Except for the business students with their free food, free swag, student lounges, huge renovated buildings, and offices with windows...

*shakes fist towards what I believe to be the direction of the business building if I had a window to actually see it* lol.
 
Last edited:
About the Ads

futurepsydoc

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2008
200
19
Status
Psychology Student
This is pretty common place, especially amongst first year students. The adjustment to graduate school is difficult, so I would expect it most then. After awhile, we all sort of become de-sensitized to the work load and complain it bit less. Having said that, grad school is pretty demanding and complaining can be a little cathartic.
 

Pragma

Neuropsychologist
7+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2011
3,308
695
Status
Psychologist
has anyone had the experience of dealing with "whiny" classmates? i have no qualms about age difference and the different backgrounds/levels of experience. my issue is mostly with the lack of preparation for doctoral level work or just knowing then to bite the bullet and get things done. i hear so often "omg, that's so much reading"..."omg i can't believe we have 10 pgs to write". i know there is a healthy level of complaining, but i am just shocked at how little work people want at times. :confused:
I used to get annoyed by some classmates always complaining too much. but after awhile it slowed down. My thinking was "didn't you know what you were signing up for?" in terms of the actual workload. I expected to work a lot of hours. Venting here and there was no problem, but some people just complain about anything and everything.

That said, I did see stress take it's toll on some other grad students health-wise. People get sick or develop illnesses...and you hope they have insurance! Not all programs cover you.
 

mclash

5+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2011
13
1
Status
I used to get annoyed by some classmates always complaining too much. but after awhile it slowed down. My thinking was "didn't you know what you were signing up for?" in terms of the actual workload. I expected to work a lot of hours. Venting here and there was no problem, but some people just complain about anything and everything.

That said, I did see stress take it's toll on some other grad students health-wise. People get sick or develop illnesses...and you hope they have insurance! Not all programs cover you.
Yeah, I think this is an important point. This past semester I developed an autoimmune disease, which I am reasonably convinced was strongly influenced by the high amounts of stress from my workload. I think I am even in a pretty reasonable program in terms of demands.

Knowing how hard something is going to be ahead of time doesn't necessarily make the transition that much easier. On the other hand, I definitely get how whining can be grating, especially when you're dealing with the same circumstances and are trying to take things in stride.

Apologies in advance if I come off as lecture-y or attempting to problem solve too much. I've actually just been thinking about this recently, and it's helpful to articulate my thoughts on the matter.

I try to frame things in terms of what is helpful for myself/others. Sometimes venting seems really necessary and appropriate response for dealing with very high demands, while other times it can have a negative impact on the learning environment. In the case of the latter, I sometimes try to engage with that person, primarily for the sake of preserving a good learning environment for myself, but sometimes as a chance to help them. I think it's important for people to hear when their behaviors and attitudes are having negative impacts on those around them. Of course, it's important to gauge whether or not that person is open to hearing that, or if they're in a headspace where they could reasonably make those adjustments. I like to believe that people going into mental health programs should be at least somewhat psychologically flexible and open to such feedback, but sometimes I'm really naive. v:oops:v

I try to deal with my own desire to whine by reaffirming my values, and reminding myself of why I care about what I am doing. I've sometimes found that a helpful way to frame things with other people in my cohort- but that may have something to do with the fact that we're not fully funded, and are actually going into debt in order to get the chance to do our work.

Ultimately, I think self-care is of utmost importance- especially in our field. I don't think anyone is doing themselves or anyone else any favors when they're doing their work resentfully. I also think one of the most important skills I've learned in grad school is figuring out what absolutely has to get done, and where my limits are. Sometimes it's for my overall benefit to just not ****ing do something, and accept the consequences. I'm not sure if that's something that could be attributed to maturity ... but it's certainly important for my self-preservation. I often find myself advocating for people in my cohort to just ... not care as much, which can be a really effective approach!

Oi. So many words ... can you tell I'm procrastinating on a paper right now? :cool:
 

PsychPhDone

10+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2009
1,123
309
Status
Psychologist
I think it really depends on the cohort. We're a relatively mature group so this hasn't been a problem. But I can imagine it happening, especially at a program where there hasn't been much postgrad work. Or past history of well-hidden neuroticism. :p
 

paramour

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2007
1,977
5
Status
Yeah, I think this is an important point. This past semester I developed an autoimmune disease, which I am reasonably convinced was strongly influenced by the high amounts of stress from my workload. I think I am even in a pretty reasonable program in terms of demands.

Knowing how hard something is going to be ahead of time doesn't necessarily make the transition that much easier. On the other hand, I definitely get how whining can be grating, especially when you're dealing with the same circumstances and are trying to take things in stride.

Apologies in advance if I come off as lecture-y or attempting to problem solve too much. I've actually just been thinking about this recently, and it's helpful to articulate my thoughts on the matter.

I try to frame things in terms of what is helpful for myself/others. Sometimes venting seems really necessary and appropriate response for dealing with very high demands, while other times it can have a negative impact on the learning environment. In the case of the latter, I sometimes try to engage with that person, primarily for the sake of preserving a good learning environment for myself, but sometimes as a chance to help them. I think it's important for people to hear when their behaviors and attitudes are having negative impacts on those around them. Of course, it's important to gauge whether or not that person is open to hearing that, or if they're in a headspace where they could reasonably make those adjustments. I like to believe that people going into mental health programs should be at least somewhat psychologically flexible and open to such feedback, but sometimes I'm really naive. v:oops:v

I try to deal with my own desire to whine by reaffirming my values, and reminding myself of why I care about what I am doing. I've sometimes found that a helpful way to frame things with other people in my cohort- but that may have something to do with the fact that we're not fully funded, and are actually going into debt in order to get the chance to do our work.

Ultimately, I think self-care is of utmost importance- especially in our field. I don't think anyone is doing themselves or anyone else any favors when they're doing their work resentfully. I also think one of the most important skills I've learned in grad school is figuring out what absolutely has to get done, and where my limits are. Sometimes it's for my overall benefit to just not ****ing do something, and accept the consequences. I'm not sure if that's something that could be attributed to maturity ... but it's certainly important for my self-preservation. I often find myself advocating for people in my cohort to just ... not care as much, which can be a really effective approach!

Oi. So many words ... can you tell I'm procrastinating on a paper right now? :cool:
Agreed and then some! :thumbup:

I also was diagnosed with a fairly malignant disorder during my doctoral studies. Stress definitely does not help the situation, and I have certainly re-evaluated things considerably as things have continued to progress. I am not going to kill myself for grad school. Sorry, not going to happen. I typically have a fairly high tolerance for stress. I was well aware of the stress that would come with grad school, and I was more than prepared for it. Heck, I had completed my master's degree with minimal issues, so continuing should be fine. But there are variables from program to program that are different and may contribute more or less to one's stress levels. Throw in a plethora of required biopsies, surgeries, and other medical interventions mid-semester while you're trying to crank out papers and polishing your dissertation proposal... Throw in an unsupportive department to boot... And see just how far your stress tolerance carries you... Even if you "knew" that you were prepared for grad school. :smuggrin:

I agree that sometimes venting can be useful. Sometimes folks simply need to get things off their chest, so to speak. But, if it's a sense of neverending whininess and/or the people have absolutely no space in the conversation for anyone but themselves (i.e., they never give time to anyone else to vent), then move on with your life and find something/someone else to occupy your time. As mclash pointed out, self-care is extremely important in grad school. If you allow others to "take advantage" of you by continuing to verbally and emotionally vomit all their crap whenever they wish with nothing in return for yourself, then it will most likely wear on you at some point. Move on with your life. It's not worth it. Find others who are more compatible with your needs. Learn to say 'no,' whether it be to these whiny folks or others consuming your resources. Focusing your energy on folks who do not contribute positively to your life in any manner need to be pruned. Ignore them when possible and find something else to think about. You will be better off.
 

phillydave

7+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2009
379
2
Philadelphia, PA
Status
Post Doc
This is an interesting topic. It's something that's bothered me ever since I started grad school. At first I thought that there must just be a few token whiners in every cohort, but part of me thinks now that the whining (for some people) is a way for them to try to connect socially, via commiseration, with their cohortmates. Maybe a little from column A and column B, just a thought.
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Moderator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
7,814
2,388
Status
Psychologist
This is an interesting topic. It's something that's bothered me ever since I started grad school. At first I thought that there must just be a few token whiners in every cohort, but part of me thinks now that the whining (for some people) is a way for them to try to connect socially, via commiseration, with their cohortmates. Maybe a little from column A and column B, just a thought.
I'd say that's certainly the case in some situations. Or at the least, it just ends up becoming a force of habit, and is the "go to" topic when around other grad students with whom you can't think of anything else to talk about.
 
About the Ads