I, like many other interns, started my internship year without having completed my dissertation. I knew it wasn’t ideal to be a full-time intern and work on my dissertation, but I figured since I made it through 5 years of graduate school simultaneously juggling other responsibilities and survived, I would be “okay” managing both of these tasks. Upon reflection, I wish I would have considered just how different and more demanding the internship year really is. As such, here are my top 10 reasons to complete your dissertation before internship (in no particular order). Please feel free to share your reasons in the comment section below!
A few years ago, I visited the tomb of Oscar Wilde, atop of which is a glorious sculpture by Jacob Epstein which sets it apart from all others in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. Something else which set it apart is the covering of lipstick kisses which I am almost certain Wilde, as a covert narcissist would have approved of. This adoration he would have regarded as rightly deserved after being misunderstood at the very end of his life.
The Covert Narcissist
If you, like Wilde are apt to see all around you as inferior and rather than make a scene, retreat into either spoken or written witticisms, knowing that one phrase from you is worth ten of everyone else’s then you may well be a covert rather than a more obvious narcissist. Wilde could encapsulate a whole paragraph of superiority on any topic into a few pithy and extremely witty words. One of my favourite quotes is his commentary upon poverty: “Charity creates a multitude of sins”.
For many students training to be Health Service Providers (HSP), the internship application process tends to be one of the most stressful periods of their graduate school training. Preparing applications by looking through training brochures of multiple internship sites, writing cover letters, completing essays, logging hours… the list goes on. It is difficult to really practice self-care during this intensive process, and sometimes we find ourselves struggling to complete an application in the eleventh hour. A number of sites have early deadlines, some before November, while others go straight through to the end of November/early December. Students can choose different ways of submitting their applications, some opting to submit in batches, based on deadlines, while others may opt to submit all applications at one time.
If you’ve finished submitting your application at this point, CONGRATULATIONS! This is the perfect time to take a break!
Some students may be thinking, “Now is the time to prepare for my interviews, plan travel, etc.” As someone who has been through this same process last year and also taking part in it again this year, my advice is this: DON’T DO IT.
Article originally posted on Forbes.com by Caroline Beaton
“According to the American Psychological Association (APA), millennials experience more stress and are less able to manage it than any other generation. More than half of us admit to having lain awake at night during the past month from stress.
“Not surprisingly, millennials are also more anxious than older Americans. The APA reports that 12% of millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder—almost twice the percentage of Boomers. On a non-clinical scale, a BDA Morneau Shepell white paper discovered that 30% of working millennials have general anxiety, while a 2014 American College Health Association (ACHA) assessment found that anxiety regularly afflicts 61% of college students.
“Anxiety not only harms our wellbeing but also sabotages our productivity. The ACHA assessment found that the top two tolls on students’ academic performance were stress and anxiety. Two-thirds of millennials interviewed by BDA attribute declining work performance to anxiety.
“Sources of millennial anxiety may include a tough job market and student debt as well as psychological causes I’ve covered previously such as ambition addiction, career crises and choice-overload. But even our day-to-day behaviors can incite anxiety.”
Finish the story!
Head to Forbes.com to read the full article on eight common habits that instigate stress and compromise our potential.
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of a four-part series written by doctoral student David Jeffries. View part 1, dedicated to the first-year graduate school experience, part 2, dedicated to the second year, and part 3, dedicated to the third year.
Start your fourth year in the summer.
The summer between your third and fourth year is a good time to assess where you are in accordance with the trusty handbook you took the time to read and get to know in the earlier years of your graduate program (see part one). By this point it is likely that you are approaching a period where you may advance to candidacy (!) so checking in with program expectations can be a good idea throughout this year.
During the summer between your third and fourth year, talk through concerns around your graduation timetable and your funding with your advisor. Regardless of what relationship you have with your advisor, by this point in your graduate work you undoubtedly have been communicating with faculty. Continue to do so in a way that serves your programmatic interests and highlights your accomplishments. By having these conversations with faculty, and reviewing what is left for you to tackle before your fourth year starts, you can re-establish a commitment to your doctoral program, while also recommitting to a sense of self-preservation and self-care by looking out for new opportunities.
To recap, in your rising fourth-year summer, look towards your dissertation, look into funding for future years, and consider your timetable.
Treat graduate school like a job.
By the time you begin your fourth year it is likely that the majority of your coursework is behind you. This likens you more to that of a professional with a 9-to-5 schedule. To that end, care for yourself by beginning to increasingly treat graduate school like a job. This means you can make it your priority to set up times when you do work, and times when you absolutely do not work. In earlier years your schedule may fluctuate too much or rely on late hours of studying, but with most of your coursework out of the way, it is time to recommit yourself to setting limits.
With most of your coursework out of the way, it is time to recommit yourself to setting limits.
When you go into your lab or office at the start of a day, have a plan. In realizing that plan, take purposeful breaks and work efficiently. Once the evening comes around, however, give yourself permission to leave your work at work. Go home or go out, but either way do not convince yourself that you can or should be working all the time.
More seasoned graduate students often confess that doctoral programs become easier once they become more comfortable with the truth of always having a to-do list that never really gets done. The key is, that is totally okay. Like someone with a 40-week job, graduate students will always have more than 40 hours worth of work to do. So do what you can, when you can, but do not lose sight that this is a choice you’ve made in pursuit of your own future happiness.
If working too hard causes your doctoral program to become a source of consistent discontent, it is important to be able to reflect on what you can change in the service of being happier. Always commit to things that are in your best interest, and leave your work at work!