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Almost Done With Year 1 of Grad School!

Hello everyone, I am exhausted as I begin this post, which is great because you will get my unfiltered perspective on things (that I will no doubt regret in the morning, haha). Lots of things are on my mind. One of them is class. As I joked today, even when I’m not in class, I feel like I’m in class, because at my work, we have to do something called Continuing Education. This is something I will be doing throughout my career as a psychologist and well into the future. It’s a good thing I always liked school.

At 2 pm today, I found myself taking a class that is nominally “Chronic Illnesses”, but should really be called “Depressing Disease Day”. We started off with infamous cancer, then transitioned smoothly to strokes, and ended on a bang with dementia. By the end, I found myself wondering how people are able to help those with chronic illnesses like that without falling into a depression themselves. If anything, this class cemented my decision to be a psychologist. At the end, there was a quiz, and I think the questions were really easy to do well on.

They were asking things like, “which of the following is a side effect of chemo”, and one of the answers was “relaxation”. I mean. Clearly chemo induces relaxation🤦‍♀️. On a personal note, this class also made me wonder how much I would deal with countertransference in my profession (that’s the fancy way of saying “I may take on my client’s emotions”). If this class was enough to make me feel a bit sad, how much more concerned will I feel for my poor clients, who may be real life examples of people with these conditions?

Soon after the class ended, I went to the gym. California lifted its mask mandate, so it was the first day that we did not wear masks! I may have had an even better workout because of this. I also discovered a delightful life hack. If your gym leggings are even slightly see through, tie a sweater around the waist. Yes, I did bring a velvet Juicy Couture sweater into the gym despite the 90 degree heat. But, did I accomplish my goal of hiding the leggings? Absolutely! I squatted and deadlifted to my heart’s content, got very sweaty from the stairmaster, and then did a leg workout from Blogilates.

In the evening, my family had a family dinner, which is rare for us because our schedules are so different. I recently found an article on emotions and family dinner for one of my psych classes. It turns out that women have slightly less positive emotions in the evening, and the reason is because they do the cooking and their kids insult their food! Yes, seriously. It made me so sad. Well, as a little kick in the butt to the patriarchy (or, more accurately, because my brother is the best chef), he did the cooking today. And I made sure to only say good things, keeping in mind the results of this study. Although I’m sure that his teen boy ego is used to the insults that his friends affectionately throw around. Side note: why do guys insult each other so much? This will always remain a mystery to me.

My sister’s friends joined us for this family dinner, and the four of us had a fun discussion about their experience working as camp counselors. My sister said that she feels very worn out, but loves the kids. I also enjoy working with kids. Like I mentioned with the food, though, they tend to be brutally honest. I once worked with a kid who said that my hair looked “like a lion”. I ended up growing it long, so I hope that if it still looks like a lion’s mane, it looks like one of the tamer lions? Maybe a lion with good self care skills.

Other things I did today: 2 reports, which is fewer than usual. I typically do 4 a day, but today is not one of those days. I had to complete a long assignment for class, and somehow, today was a day when I didn’t feel quite the same level of motivation that I usually do. I’m thankful that I usually can use self-discipline even on the days when I’m “not feeling it” (because “not feeling it” should not be an excuse to just skip out on things that you have a commitment to). Today, though, I woke up at 5 am.

My window looks like this:

Unless I use the blackout curtains, light streams in faster than you can say “I’m still sleeping!”

So, I’m definitely going to remember those blackout curtains for tomorrow! And in the mean time, I will let tiredness be my cue to take it easy.


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Hi everyone! I started my doctorate in clinical psychology in fall 2020. A google search revealed that there are no current grad school blogs for psychology students. Anyway, I happen to know a girl who wants to document her journey to getting a doctorate (spoiler: it's me). Welcome. Hope you stay awhile!

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