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#iamaphdstudentandiknowit

MOST RECENT

Taking a study break for a little bath time.

I’m trying real hard to turn my black thumb to a green one in 2018. Or at least to some sort of greenish hue. 🌿👍🏻🌿
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation #gardening #plantlove #plantmagic #herbalist #herbalism

Quand tu passes ton dimanche à travailler sous les encouragements de ton chat
#sundaymorning #dimanchematin #sleepycat #siestepower #cat #chatontropmignon #iamaphdstudentandiknowit

N E W Y E A R 〰 N E W Y O U
I know it's been awhile since I've written a ~*serious*~ post or one that is remotely related to graduate school. I'm aiming to get better at that and use this space more wisely, but I wanted to take a moment and reminisce about the emotional rollercoaster that was 2017 and what creating this IG account has meant to me over the past year.

I originally created @phdbalance to be a space for sharing tips on productivity, work-life balance, and self-care for graduate students and busy people in general. I had the intention of staring a formal website and creating a zine series that helped others navigate how to eat, sleep, exercise, and learn how to actually live life outside the ivory tower. I also had the intention of creating a workbook on how to navigate some of the difficulties that come with being a graduate student.

I look back over the past year and I'm a little sad and disappointed in myself for not getting these things done. Like for many others, 2017 hit me hard. There were several moments when I felt like for every one accomplishment I had achieved, I had to endure at least ten failures. Ten times of being told no. Ten times of being rejected, my application denied or not being selected. Constantly hearing NO challenged me, my self-confidence, and frustrated me to no end. I know I have a bad habit of focusing solely on my failures, ignoring all that I have accomplished and forgetting about my triumphs.

In 2017, I started to find myself, got ass over teakettle lost, and felt scared and confused for a good six to eight months. I lived in complete fear of failing as a graduate student and was drowning in self-doubt. Instead of pushing myself to take action and change the situation, I found myself caught in a comparison trap. My imposter syndrome was off the charts. It made me question if I should even be giving advice to fellow graduate students because I clearly wasn't even following my own.

(Continued in comments. Art by @_lauraberger_ ).

It’s that time of year again! Headed off to Philadelphia for the annual American Society of Criminology conference.

This is always the best time of the year, and worst time of the year. Having a conference the week before Thanksgiving, and coming back with only two weeks left in the semester, I feel like I go from 35mph to 150mph until mid-December.

In an attempt to stay as calm as possible, I’m adopting the mantra STRESS LESS this year and aim to focus on enjoying my time away from home and hanging out with my fellow colleagues.
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Turning in my final (really, first) draft of my dissertation proposal to my committee this Friday. So it’s time to just sit down and DO THE DAMN THING.

I wrote this note to myself to help me push through and just get it done. I’m so close I can taste it. And in glancing what I wrote (over six months ago...) I am feeling more confident in my voice and what I have to say now more than ever.

So besides these little tips to keep me accountable what else do y’all recommend? I’ve also started to adopt the Pomodoro Method style of writing where you work in chunks of 25 minutes and take a brief 5 minute break. It’s been helping a lot!

(Also this is pretty much as long as my nails get and they are looking pretty nice these days. As a former nail biter, I’m trying not to screw them up.)
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation #writing #dothedamnthing

STILL LIFE OF A GRAD STUDENT.

I am busier now more than ever and it’s starting to bring flashbacks to my first year as a doctoral student. A mile-long to-do list, a mile-high stack of articles you need to read, meetings and places to be, and of course, all the writing.

Currently I’m trying to (finally) finish my dissertation proposal; read and prepare course content for my undergrads; apply for my first academic job (!!!!); and get the writing group that I’m leading up and running. It’s so much that even organizing it into piles and summing everything up in a few bullet points is still overwhelming.

But I’m also older and wiser now that I’m in my 5th year. My tolerance for staying up late and running on 5 or 6 hours of sleep no longer exists. I need to workout regularly and have some downtime. Thus, I find myself walking away from my work more and more in order to spend time with loved ones and to live life.

Does this make me more enlightened or productive? Yes. No. Sometimes.

If I’m being honest with myself, my work/life balance has tilted more towards LIFE these days. Trying to shift back to WORK and honor these new boundaries I’ve learned in the process. Reminding myself that no perfect, harmonious balance exists between them. I’m going to take it day by day and shift where and when I need to.

P.S. I’m not a graphic designer but I made the flyer for my writing group on Canva yesterday (instead of writing) and I’m pretty proud of it. .
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Sometimes you find motivational messages in the most random places.

This was just before the train tracks near Fee Road. Over the summer, I would park all the way out there and walk to teach my weights class (because free parking).

Every Monday and Wednesday I would step over these words and internally repeat them back to myself. I was in the thick of trying to navigate my feelings towards academia and what to do with my life. At my worst, when I had no utter clue what I truly wanted, this was a reminder that I will at some point. That all is not yet lost.

Thank you to the individual who took the time to write this and share it with the rest us. It's been a nice reminder in times of need.
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I stumbled upon this drawing last night and immediately fell in love.

As a recovering perfectionist, these are the thoughts I live with daily. Sometimes it feels like a never-ending cycle that I will never beat, surpass, or overcome. I have days where I make progress, knowing that perfection doesn't exist, but then I have days that I let myself get trapped by this false narrative and scold myself for not being good enough.

This mindset is stifling because, at the end of the hour/day/week/month, I haven't gotten much done. I've been too busy poking, prodding, primping, and obsessing over one thing until I deem it perfect enough.

And even in those moments, I already know that it's not perfect, it never will be, and that's okay. It's more important to recognize the work I put in and what I produced. To learn from the process.

Obviously this is so much easier said than done but I always appreciate the reminder. Especially a pretty visual one!

Poster created by @grantdraws and @jonacuff. I will also be looking into their books, "The Shape of Ideas" and "Finish" as I'm about to embark on my dissertation and knock this last year of grad school out of the park..
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ME PRAYING TO THE DISSERTATION GODS

All jokes aside, I've been a little quiet on sharing tips and advice on work-life balance, self-love, and productivity lately because, frankly, I don't feel like I'm being a good role model in following my own practices. Why should anyone listen to me?

I have been working on some of my own issues over the past six months and it can be quite humbling to be reminded just how much of a work in progress life (and grad school) really is. I have made strides, but I've also had setbacks. And I know I'm not the only one..

I've found journaling and workbook material helpful in guiding me through this process. So much so that I'm going to put a hold on the grad student zine series in order to focus on creating a grad student workbook. And since I'm going to be the one to try it out first hand, I think it will be a good exercise in learning how to practice-what-you-preach and taking actionable steps in meeting your academic (or life) goals.

In the meantime, I want to give thanks to some of my grad students friends who have patiently listened to me discuss my thoughts and feelings; who have allowed me to be vulnerable; who have shared their vulnerability with me; and for giving your love and support to me every day. Thank you for holding me @quickjo1989 @celina.cycles and @aksiroky.

Together we will make it through this.
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation

Afternoon study scenes. ✨🌤📖📚✨

Since it's such a gorgeous day, I made a makeshift office in my backyard using only a blanket and a pillow and moved myself outside to enjoy the weather.

Changing scenery always helps shake things up for me after I've been working for awhile and re-center my focus. Since we installed a fence gate, I've been having a lot more outdoor study sessions with Rosie (and thus fresh doses of vitamin D!). I've noticed that whenever I need a pick me up, I go outside.

P. S. I thought about taking this moment to share a quick list of "Tips on How to Avoid Study Burnout/Boredom" but will do so in following posts if that's what y'all are into. IDK, trying to get back to sharing tips/advice for other grad students rather than me discussing my own issues all the time. Thoughts? 🤷🏻‍♀️
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"and now: left side rows. Wait, no! I said LEFT!". Machine learning with python? Easy. Reaching a consensus about left and right? Definitely not 😂. #overqualifiedforthesebanalities #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #teambuilding1.0

In the midst of cramming for the fall semester, my new favorite hobby is to forage local flowers and arrange them into bouquets on my dining room table. 💐

It sure beats facing the cold reality of how much I have left to do and how far behind I am already. 🤦🏼‍♀️
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation

Working in the herb garden this morning.

I feel awful how bad I let some of these herbs overgrow. And the lack of water/attention that has been given to my tomato plant.

But at least my marigolds are still blooming. ☺️
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation #gardening #plantlove #plantmagic #herbalist #herbalism

It's been awhile since I shared a #bassbreak with you all. Teaching myself Christian Woman by Type O Negative this morning.

Going to keep working on getting the strength back in my plucking fingers, but I think this is a decent first lesson. (Even if it is the easiest part of the song 😝)
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation #bass #bassbreak #bassplayer #sheshreds #typeonegative

Feeling grounded and overwhelmed at once.

May write more on this tomorrow but for now, I'm just taking a moment to pause and L O O K U P.
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Just received this motivational (and super cute) print from my mom in the mail. And some full moon vibes to boot! 🌝

Thank you for always loving and supporting my endeavors, no matter how big or how small. I love you. 💕
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation #neverthelessshepersisted #fullmoon

Today I worked at Bloom and planted my herb garden instead of working on my dissertation proposal on this gorgeous sunny day.

I am not regretting these decisions one bit. ✨☀️🌱✨
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#phdbalance #phd #phdlife #iamaphdstudentandiknowit #gradstudent #gradschool #gradschoolproblems #gradschoollife #academia #academiclife #masters #doctorate #thesis #dissertation #gardening #plantlove #plantmagic #herbalist #herbalism

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