How to keep a balance

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by scienceisbeauty, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. scienceisbeauty

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    I feel unhappy. I feel really overwhelmed. I just graduated...June. But, but I still have the GRE to study for, I have so many projects - I feel I can't do anything anymore. I'm just overburded.

    Is grad school like this?

    I'm juggling 4 (5?) projects right now. 1 is finishing an almost done paper for July. I will be 2nd author. (I hate this boring a** study)
    2. is starting a review paper (tmr) to submit by Oct!!!! (?# authorship)
    3. is starting to write a paper for which I finished data collection and analysis 2 wks ago. I will be 1st author.
    4. is submitting a new self-designed project for ethics. (I am done and can take a break from it for 2wks once it's submitted), this one appears to "show my skills as an indep scientist"
    5. is blind-coding and later helping to write a paper that will be submitted in Nov. (3rd author most likely)
     
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  3. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National

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    You sound like quite the "research hound." I am in a Ph.D program, but am by no means a research hound. But yes, grad school is very busy. Unless you are in an intensive research program, you will not be juggling five large research studies/manuscripts at one time. But you will be juggling the lab you work in, a practicum, and a couple of classes, so it might be the same level of hours or workload. I just treat it like a very busy full-time job (I'm not putting in 60 hours a week like some people on here), and I have done fine, but then again, I'm not gunning for tenure track faculty positions either. I have done alot of posters and will have 3 pubs (one first author) by the time I apply for internship. Thats enough for me....:laugh:
     
  4. scienceisbeauty

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    But ...I guess I'm unhappy a bit too, because the first two things I hate hate hate doing.
    Then the third thing...the one on which I'll be first author, I dislike the study, but I guess it's way better than the review paper and paper that's up for submission in July.

    I'm happy with my self-designed study (the one where ethics submission will be in a week)
    I'm happy with the Nov paper blind-coder thing too...

    I just wonder...if I want a research-focused Clinical PhD program, will it be this PLUS classwork PLUS the extra clinical practicum/classes/learning??
     
  5. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National

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    Well yes, working on manuscripts and the intensive resesrch is in addition to your classes and practicum. However, after 2nd year, your class load decreases significantly. And you might not be doing as many practicum hours as I am if you are in a research heavy program. Overall however, my buddies at more research intensive programs are alot busier and putting I more hours than I am. grad school is all about time management and juggling multiple things.
     
  6. RayneeDeigh

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    Don't worry, it's all relative. What seems stressful to you now will seem like a piece of cake a year from now when you look back.

    I go to a program that pretends to like/encourage research but actually shoves more clinical work down our throats than we can handle. My cohort will all tell you that the work with clients is 100% more stressful than coursework or research. At least you know your coursework is going to show up everyday!

    It sucks to do research you're not really into, and that MAY continue in grad school if you're not careful about fit. If you get into a school that will allow you to do what you love to do then it won't seem like half as much work as you're feeling now.

    That said, coursework doesn't always slow down after your first year. In my program the first two years are packed full of coursework and then the last two are pretty light.
     
  7. thewesternsky

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    Can I ask why you're writing a review paper on a topic you don't enjoy? If it's for a class it makes sense, but otherwise it seems you might just end up with a very long summer and a bad review paper.
     
  8. scienceisbeauty

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    Well, it started with the first thing (the paper that I hate hate hate, with research that I hate hate hate), and it was for a independent study course - (for school credit) and I worked really hard, and my supervisor wanted to make it into a paper for publication in a peer reviewed journal. But I got so super swamped with OTHER work, and then a few personal problems (MS diagnosis - and that's been disclosed on this forum before so meh) so she said well I'll give you a grade, but then you owe me a paper. And I said fine. And the thing I said fine to, was the review paper. *Sigh* She thinks I "write beautifully" and I know quite a bit about the boring subject. Plus the grad student is going to help.
     
  9. Ollie123

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    I guess I'm a fellow "research hound" then:)

    I'm juggling 8ish studies right now, all at various stages. A few are tiny though (e.g. 25 question online survey) so I just throw around that number to sound busier than I am so I don't get asked to take on any more;)

    What you described sounds spot on for folks here. Most people are at least involved in 1-2 project with their advisor plus their own master's and dissertation at any given time. I think most folks are doing more than that though. We haven't started seeing clients yet and our classes aren't terribly intense (3 articles and maybe a book chapter is about the average weekly reading), so that helps quite a bit.

    So not to scare you, but yes, you will be that busy (and busier!) in grad school. The major difference is that hopefully you will be in a lab you like more, doing work that you like more. This is why we emphasize the importance of fit when applying. If you don't match well with your lab/advisor, you will be utterly miserable, end of story. If you're doing what you love, you won't think twice about doing all that and more:)

    Let me ask you this: Would you feel differently if all these projects you were involved in were things you WANTED to be involved in rather than things you had to? If so, I wouldn't worry about it. If not, then you might want to think about your research focus.
     
  10. paramour

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    Yes.

    You're currently working on a handful of papers and coding. Now take that and add
    - coursework [which tend to include a number of lengthy papers and/or time consuming projects themselves, as well as the neverending stream of reading assignments (which may also vary by program, of course)],
    - prac,
    - additional 'requirements' of your program (e.g., we have diversity hours, 'extra' scientific practitioner hours, 'extra' scientific researcher hours we're required to go through each semester until dissertation),
    - additional activities that your advisor(s) may request that you work on for professional development (or simply because it decreases some of their burden),
    - work for conferences/conventions that you may want to (or be requested to) present at,
    - actual data collection (dependent upon the type of study, this can be terribly time consuming),
    - potentially teaching (or whatever duties your assistantship may require of you),
    - etc., etc.

    By now you get the point. It is a lot of work but many people do it. Keep in mind that even in programs that advertise themselves as research-focused, there are going to be students who do the minimal research (thesis, dissertation) in order to load up more on clinical hours. Even in more clinical-oriented programs, there are going to be students who do the minimal clinical work (not taking extra clients or outside clinical opportunities) in order to load up more on additional research opportunities. You have to figure out what you are interested in, what works best for you, and then ENJOY whatever you are doing. No, you likely will not think that everything you do is the most fun you have ever had. But if you enjoy enough of other things, you can easily overlook a few hoops that may not be as pleasant for you.
     
  11. scienceisbeauty

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    Ollie, for the project that I love my "self-designed study" - I willingly stay until all hours of the night, perfecting it. I love it, it drives me, I dream about it at night.
    No really. :D It is "MY BABY" and I've called it that a number of times with my lab mates and supervisor.

    If all my projects were like this...I'd be...in a blissful state.
     
  12. Ollie123

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    Then I expect you'll be fine:) There are plenty of people in grad school who darn near crap their pants over every little thing that's expected of them (my personal favorite is when people absolutely freak out about helping get a poster together), but busy does not have to = stressful. Just like anything in life, there will be things you won't want to do.

    The key is to make sure you're in the right place. This means the potentially difficult decision of turning down a school you discovered wasn't right for you at interviews despite not having gotten in elsewhere. Don't "settle" or you'll be miserable, make sure you like where you're going and you should be fine:)
     
  13. JockNerd

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    I see this all the time too. Anyone who has this habit should really kill it before grad school, because there is going to be a virtually unending list of deadlines of varying importance facing you constantly. It breeds a really ugly attitude among people who are getting to go to school for free, too.
     

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