Good (≠ Productive) Things

Great things I did today:

  • Woke up early (which is extra great because I’m slowly trying to shift from a 3 AM-11 AM schedule to a 10 PM-6 AM schedule. Today was 7:30! I’ve been hovering around 8 for the last week.)
  • Morning yoga
  • Caught the early bus to my class today (Usually because I’m Always Running Late I take the bus that drops me off just barely in time for class.)
  • The first problem set assignment for my logic class was returned and I got 10/10! 🙂
  • Felt completely comfortable giving a presentation and leading discussion in my seminar
  • Went to the gym (I feel like this is extra commendable because I walked there in the freezing, pouring rain.)
  • Didn’t forget to bring my reusable bags when I went grocery shopping

Tonight I plan to take a night off from philosophy and coursework and just do some housekeeping and relax 🙂

Today was a good day, and I’m extra happy about that because it wasn’t a good day in virtue of me being productive work-wise. I think it’s good for my mental health to separate “good” from “productive” – and honestly for the longest time those words were conceptually identical for me. It’s nice to know I’m capable of wrapping my head around the idea of them being different, especially right in the middle of the work week.

An Open Book

In an effort to make this blog as authentic a reflection of my grad school experience as possible, here is a very candid snapshot of my current state:

I am very depressed. My anxiety is really bad. I’ve skipped two days of working out in a row and replaced them with binge eating. I’ve gotten virtually no work done in the past few days. I have no motivation to go out with friends. I miss California. I feel terrible.

And tonight I cuddled with my dog, buried my face into her fur, and cried for 20 minutes.

Getting the Hang of Adulting

I’m currently writing this at 10:30 pm with a face mask on. This means: a) that I’ve finished all the things I wanted to do today before 10:30, and b) there is enough time between now and when I’m planning to go to bed such that I can relax for a bit and treat my skin – and this is a big, big deal!

In my first few weeks of grad school this would have never happened. I had no idea how to prioritize my to-do list and felt so hopelessly swamped with coursework that I didn’t even have time to do things like clean my apartment or workout or hang out with friends. As a result, I was doing nothing but schoolwork from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I wasn’t getting enough sleep; I wasn’t working effectively or efficiently; I wasn’t giving myself time to go out and relax and just be a fucking person instead of a grad student… It was driving me nuts. I was really miserable.

Fast forward about a month and a half and I’m happy to say I’m in a much better place, both in my work like and in my personal life.

I’m getting better at managing my time and my assignments. I’ve finally managed to internalize the idea of prioritizing: some readings I skim, some I annotate meticulously, and some I make sure to do before others (which is a huge break from undergrad because I always managed to get my work done on time no matter what order I did it in and I read everything). Now I’m actually getting things done ahead of time! (Also a huge break from undergrad – haha!) As for not-school, I’m working out on the regular, my apartment is clean and my laundry situation never gets quite so bad, and I feel like I’ve got a good group of friends – or at least colleagues that I enjoy spending time with.

Of course, there are still things I need to work on and I still feel homesick pretty much all the time, but overall I feel like my whole situation in general is much more manageable and I’m able to do the things I want to do. Cheers to improvement!

This will be the first post filed under the “Personal Updates” category. I think the name itself, coupled with the content of this post, makes it pretty clear what sorts of things you can expect to find in this category in the future.