Friday, February 14, 2014

Considering Adjustments

Feeling a little calmer, a little less out of control, a little less desperate, than earlier this week. I saw my beautiful, wise, sweet Dr. P on Wednesday, and we spent some time mapping out my schedule to get a better idea of the situation. This shouldn't have been a surprise to me, but it kind of was: turns out I've been working over 30 hours between my two jobs, spending 12 hours in clinic, and taking five classes. Plus studying for the GRE, plus tutoring, plus working in a food bank. And while I like staying busy and having lots of responsibilities, apparently I've reached my breaking point.

I don't mean breaking point in a scary way like with restricting and overexercising and out-of-control anxiety, but in a way that has me skipping snacks here and there, not sleeping well, and periodically on the verge of tears. I feel distracted, antsy, nervous, and irritable—and I hate that, because things had been going so well for a while. But I'm on top of it, and still feel pretty centered and normal and okay. I'm not at all depressed; just stressed.

And I'm willing to make some adjustments, but am struggling a little to decide where to cut back. Dr. P is really encouraging me to quit one of my jobs, which probably makes the most sense, but the lost wages will be really hard to swallow. "Hard" as in: I would probably have to either (A) take out more loans, or (B) ask my parents for help—both of which are REALLY unappealing options to me. My parents would help me in a heartbeat, I know, but I hate asking if I can avoid it. And I would like my dad to be able to retire sometime in the next few decades.

So the other option would be to cut way down on my hours, but that doesn't totally eradicate the money issue either. At least that way, though, I would always have the option to increase my hours whenever possible and maintain connections with my boss, colleagues etc.

Still mulling it over, I guess. One bright spot is that this time next week, the GRE will be over. And although I'm not really expecting to pull a mind-blowing score given how my studying has been going, I'll just be glad to get it out of the way. It is actually really frustrating because for some reason I am finding the GRE (especially the verbal sections) to be unexpectedly impenetrable. No idea why; I am very much a verbal person, and I got a high score on my SAT six years ago without cracking a book. So the whole thing is driving me nuts and I want it DONE.

And then there's the part of me that is considering dropping out of school completely and finding a real job with, like, a salary and benefits and work that actually ends at 5pm.


  1. Yikes! That's a lot of hours and tons of stress. I'm really glad you were able to talk to Dr. P about it. I really do think that cutting down on a few things is really important. I like the idea of decreasing your hours so that you stay connected to the job and the people, but it's more manageable. Also, would you be able to cut down on your tutoring and volunteering hours right now? Just to make sure you can do self-care also?

    Good luck on the GRE! Also, good luck on deciding what to decrease in your life so that you can get back to feeling great and have time to relax too!

  2. Ah, sorry - I deleted my comment b/c I'm signed in by accident to a different email and it accidentally showed my entire, full name, which I didn't intend to put out there on the internet.

    The comment was just encouraging you to decrease your schedule - I'm with Dr. P, and just did that to my own schedule, BTW - totally get that it's hard, but worth it! I was also wondering why you're taking the GRE when you're already IN grad school...

    1. good question—my masters program did not require the GRE, but I am looking ahead to doctoral programs, so I will need it to apply for those. The soonest I would be applying is next fall so there isn't a huge hurry with the test and I will definitely be able to take it again if needed, but was advised to get it out of the way sooner rather than later as the score is still good for five years.