The Truth About Grad School

tumblr_mlbrr4bROJ1s3gs1lo1_500.jpgIf I had $5 for every time someone asked me how I was making a full-time job and grad school work, I would have way fewer student loans.

As I’ve answered that question 1,000 times over the last 9 months, I’ve developed a few polite responses:

  • You just take it one day at a time.
  • It’s crazy, but I’m surviving.
  • Yeah, I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I’m told it’s worth it.
  • Luckily I really love my job and school is interesting, so it’s a win-win.

While all of those are true statements, they are definitely my sugarcoated answers. I don’t think we all need to spill our deepest, darkest secrets about how messy our lives are, but I also think that we do others a disservice when we don’t let them see that our lives aren’t perfect. When we let them think that they’re the only person out there struggling to do it all. So here you go, my real answers for how am I making my life work with a full-time job and grad school?

  • I shower less because I don’t have the time/energy to do my hair every day. Whatever number of days is in your head, add one. Or two.
  • There are multiple days a week I don’t wear makeup.
  • I don’t cook, or eat real meals anymore. Cereal, anything microwavable, chips and melted cheese. These are now my dietary staples.
  • I do way less homework than I did as an undergrad. Not because I have less, but because I just can’t be quite as obsessed and go to the library every night like I used to.
  • It’s come down to exercise or sleep since I really only have time late at night or in the early morning, guess which one wins?
  • I don’t think about student debt if I can possibly help it.
  • There are multiple times a week when I get home and just lay on the couch  without moving for hours because I just need to stop and do something mindless.
  • I feel guilty a lot about not putting as much time or energy into things that I would normally want to do my best on.
  • I see a therapist.
  • Things are so overwhelming sometimes that it’s a never-ending battle against apathy.
  • Ice cream.
  • As tired as I get, and as much as I’m 100% done dealing with people at the end of the week, spending time with friends and family is really important and keeps a little sanity in my life.
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