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school, stress, and sleep

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Next week is a big milestone for me: my PhD comprehensive exams. They are 2 days, 4 hours each day, open ended questions covering literally every course I've taken over the past 3 years, plus topics related to my dissertation.

I've never been good at studying. I've always done well in subjects I like, and not so well in subjects I didn't like. But this is different. If I don't do well, it could jeopardize my prospects for moving forward with my PhD. My advisor says not to worry. My professors say not to worry. My friends and family say not to worry. But of course, I worry.

I'd made up a schedule 2 months ago with plans for what to read/review for each class. I've finished making notes on all of the readings, and marking my notebooks for easy reference for the open-book questions. I know I'm covering everything. And yet I worry that it's not enough. That there will be something glaringly obvious that I'm missing. Or something so obscure that I wouldn't have thought to review it.

This is all coming at a time where there are tons of changes at work - both related to COVID and otherwise. I'm being moved to a new role, which is more in line with what I've been studying and also where I want to go. Which is awesome. I should be jumping for joy at that. And I am, but it's also leaving the comfort of where I've been for the last 6 years. And this isn't even touching all the other craziness that's going on in the world.

The last few days/weeks I have had trouble falling asleep, trouble with waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. Twice I've woken up with stomach pains and spent an hour in the bathroom. Could it be related to what I ate that day? Sure, of course. But I think the stress that I haven't wanted to admit is there is getting to me.

Then there's frustration between me and my daughter. She's 10 and this is a very awkward summer for her with no summer camp or play dates. She's home with me all day and wants to play or wants to chat, but I'm always either doing work, in a work meeting, or studying for my exam. I try to take breaks to hang out with her, but there's only so many breaks I can fit in. And on top of it there's the quasi-unspoken resentment I get from my husband that I "get to stay home" all day while he "works" (as if I'm not working).

So, yea, a lot of stress to go around. One way or another a big pile of it will be off my shoulders by this time next week. But until then, back to the books I go. emoticon
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  • YOUCANDOITNANA
    Sending positive vibes for your comps. What a great role model for higher ed you are for your daughter! Best wishes. No worries.
    75 days ago
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