Between working 40 hours at week in retail hell and entering data like a mad woman, I haven’t had too much of a ‘life.’ I just need to remind myself that these late nights will pay off in the long run.
A few good things have happened, in the grad school realm, in the last few weeks though.
First, my mentor (whom I’m doing data entry with) asked me to be a co-author on the community report he is doing. And, we’re going to set it up so it will count as a field practicum. The community report needs to be done by the end of September/beginning of October. After its submitted, I only have one class to worry about this semester. Thankfully, all this unpaid hard work I’m putting in will now not only go towards an article(s) and my thesis, but a community health report with a respected organization.
Second, I talked with my mentor about whether I should definitely take a year off and what my possibilities look like for that said year. I really have no idea why this decision has been so hard for me to make. I think I just wanted to make sure I was spending the year doing something constructive to enhance my Ph.D. applications, because if not, what’s the point of taking off a year? He gave me a few options to think about and once I decide which steps I want to take, we can get the ball rolling. But, he’s pushing for me to write a grant to write a paper using his data and implementing the questions about sexual health (since that’s my area of interest). Or, allowing him to contact a professor at Princeton so I can use both their data to publish an article. He said that will be the most effective way to become a promising Ph.D. applicant at the schools I am interested in.
Third, my friend and fellow cohort member received a scholarship which will allow her to travel to Ph.D. programs for visits (GO M!!!! So proud of her <3). She asked me if I would like to ride along with her, since we will be applying to similar schools. So, I will be able to knock out all my visits to CA Ph.D. programs a year before applying so I can be absolutely sure I want to apply there (since they’re so expensive!). Plus, I will be able to visit parts of CA that I’ve never been to before. And, she’s never been back east before but really wants to apply to a few programs in NYC and DC. Although it won’t be covered by her scholarship, we are in the beginning stages of planning a trip back east to do a mini road trip to NYC, a pit stop in NJ for me, and some time in DC so we can visit her programs AND so she can see the amazingness that is the east coast.
I know this coming year (I do years by Fall semester to Fall semester, not January to January like normal people) will be a lot of stress, late nights, exhaustion, etc. but when its all said and done, I will be starting the next chapter in my life. And, that is something to look forward to.