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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grad school blues

SOMETIMES I CAN'T WAIT until I graduate. Other days I can stay in the moment and enjoy this trip. Today is not one of the latter. I told my husband this morning that I want "Alice" from the Brady Bunch, or someone (males, included) to cook and clean the house for us.

I am beating myself up for not cooking healthier meals, walking the dog, exercising, enjoying nature and cleaning more often. Then I get angry at my husband for not doing these things though that's not really fair because he is working extra jobs to make up for the income that we lost when I quit my job. He also does a lot of the cooking, and I am really grateful for that. I think I am just frustrated.

I would love to hear from the rest of you about how you get through this part of the grad school experience without driving yourself crazy! If I could just let myself off the hook for another semester and a half, I will have plenty of time to do all of these things. I guess it's been a long time (since January 2008) and it is starting to wear on me. It's probably normal, huh?

~Ms. T. J.


  1. HA HA you spelled it out perfectly.  I have been dreaming of going back to school but then I think how can I be wife, housekeeper, taxi, homework helper, cook, mom of 3 (2 from foster care with issues) care taker of  7 pets and still be the best student I can be.  When I figure it out, I'll take the GRE.  Now if $ weren't an issue, I would just hire an *alice* and go part time and life would be great!!

  2. It is difficult in grad school. I am juggling work, grad school, and internship. On a regular basis, I work out 5-6 times per week. This week I was able to attend my kickboxing class and that's it. I felt that I did not take care of me this week. But, hey! there is always tommorrow...

  3. I just started and I already feel the same as you!
    Good luck pushing through :)

  4. I am working 2 part-time jobs, my internship and class, and my husband is in med school! So yea - our little condo isn't as clean as it should be, and sometimes we don't eat the best food. I do get frustrated with him sometimes because, believe it or not, he has waaay more spare time than I do, and I wish he would just do that little extra, ya know? However, at the end of the day, we help each other and it gets done at some point. If the laundry has to sit there a day longer, so be it! 

  5. It is not easy to say the least...I am also in the boat of many of you work, internship, 5 classes.   How do I deal with it?  I keep telling myself that it is only going to be about  9 or so more weeks and then next semester I am one class shorter than now. 

    However, at the same time I often find myself thinking I should quit my job so that I can get more out of school and enjoy friends before I have to work another full-time job...but then I tell myself this semester is almost halfway over and I have vacation time I can use on the really busy weeks and I do not yet have a family so I have a little more flexibility there.  It is hard to figure out what is important because I work for my college so they help me pay for school - but money is not everything...I envy all those that are able to quit their jobs or made the choice to put off internship until summer (sometimes I wonder if this would be better for me) but for this semester I am sticking with what I am doing and can make different or similiar decisions next semester.

  6. Put school first (okay second, after your marriage) during this time - I didn't get nearly as much out of grad school as I wish I had. It is very challenging and some chaos should just be expected and accepted in my opinion. Prioritize and let the rest go! :)

  7. Oh, I remember those days well. At one point, I suggested to my husband that we have my mother-in-law (his step-mother) move in with us until I finished school. Then the house would stay tidy, we would eat better than we ever had, he wouldn't have to do the meals AND the dishes, etc. etc. etc. Then he pointed out that, given the fact that neither of us can stand to be with her more than a few days at a time (she is very pretentious AND opinionated) it would probably mean the end of the marriage, our sanity and our relationship with her two sons. So we decided not to go with that plan. Instead, I made sure that we entertained sometime shortly after Christmas (giving me the excuse and time to muck out) and then for his birthday in July (same reason. It is much better now, but I still need the frequent excuses 'cuz there are so many better things to do than housekeeping. I did think that after school, I would be able to hire a cleaning lady once or twice a month, but then my husband got laid off 16 months ago and that dream got put aside for a bit longer.

    Hang in there, this too shall pass.

  8. Hello All, 
    I have a bit of problem. I just started grad school right after I got my BSW.  I don't think I am ready. I have been juggling home work. English is my second language and I still have issues with that. I am not sure if I can do this. I think I should have waited for a while before starting Grad school. I am not sure if I am all that ready. I am about to go and drop out. I think I should have waited for a year or so got some experience then started this whole thing. This is not cool I didn't think about it all that much I guess. 

  9. Ash,

    Is there someone you can talk to about this? And by someone I mean someone who knows you and understands you. If you could sit with a kindred spirit and put all your concerns on the table, you may be able to sort out what you need to do right now to: a.) stay in school, or b.) drop out.

    There have been a few times when I felt like it was TOO MUCH and I wanted to quit.  So I get where you are at to some degree. Your circumstances are unique to you, so you'll have to figure out the best way to take care of YOU.

    I would be doing you a disservice if I said it wasn't challenging,  IT IS. If it wasn't, everybody would have a Master's degree.

    And, I also want to say that with the little you've written about yourself, you sound like someone who definitely can do this. English is your second language! That is awesome. You will already be so much more in demand in this field due to being bilingual. Also you have a BSW, which means you have a strong foundation for an MSW. I have a BS in journalism, so I did not have the foundation that you do.  I imagine that will help greatly.

    Please talk it over with someone who cares about you, Ash.  And know that the answer is already there; you just have to allow it to come out.

    ~Ms. T. J.


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