Monday, December 6, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

For most of America, Thanksgiving week signals the beginning of the holiday season: food, fun, family and friends which last well through New Years.  For students, however, the holiday fun is often delayed; the bounty of Thanksgiving brings with it term papers, exams, and research deadlines.

Now, this isn't a "woe-is-us" post.  Many jobs place increasing demands on their employees this time of year.  The stress for students, however, comes with the sprint to the end of the semester.

The increased focus on academic tasks can be especially challenging for students of Community Psychology and other related, applied fields.  We chose these fields because we wanted to help DO something to better our communities; however, it's hard to stay motivated when all you are "doing" is studying.

  • How do you keep from falling into the grad school "black hole"?
  • What future applications/jobs keep you motivated when you're burning the midnight oil?
Post-Students (Those of you who have been here, and lived to tell the tale): 
  • What advice do you have for current students struggling to find balance this time of year?

Please share your responses in the comments box below....  

... and just for fun. (click on the cartoon to enlarge image)
Image from PHDComics - Copyright Jorge Cham.


  1. Although it adds to my already large workload, I remain engaged with the community during coursework. My engagement is not related specifically to my assistantship nor is it with an agency that my chair/committee is currently heavily involved with. So, it's like an independent activity. Not only does it keep me connected with the community I care about, but it is also a supportive environment for me to practically apply what I learn in class. I think it's been working out nicely so far!

  2. A high level of "choice community engagement" (not related to a course, job, or research) is a dream for me at this point in the semester. I would love some advice at you create and insist on this balance. Particularly challenging for me is finding groups I connect with in this community (I moved here for graduate school and feel disconnected from the community overall... kind of ironic for a student of "Community Psych".)

    Anyone else have thoughts?

  3. Facing an all-nighter myself tonight, I am thankful to still feel motivated. I've found that surrounding myself with community-minded people (outside of class) and sharing our idealistic dreams (no holding back) helps remind me why I'm in a program like this.

    Re: jobs..any that post that comes my way keeps me pretty optimistic. A chance to earn money and not accumulate debt? That sounds amazing!

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