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If We Were Having a Cup of Coffee

My mom and I were watching fireworks from my sister’s bedroom window, perched nearly on the roof, and she told me that I have a lot to be grateful for. Not in the way that parents typically tell you, which is, “you should be thankful, I do so much for you”. More like, “objectively, Vera, your life is great.” Which got me thinking: 1) she’s right, as moms often are. And 2) what has been going so well?

To borrow a writing strategy from one of my favorite bloggers, Allie Zottola, I will write as though we were having a cup of coffee together.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my pen pal. One of my friends lives in New York and we decided to be pen pals. I didn’t realize how much excitement this would add to my life. Having a pen pal will be an excuse to use my scented stationery! I couldn’t tell if it smelled good or if it smelled like a hip grandma’s wardrobe (I suspected the latter), but by then I had practically written a novel, so it was too late.

I had to ruin the appearance of the envelope in order to keep our addresses private, but you get the general idea!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my “reading on the stairmaster” habit. While I was at my grandma’s house, I would wake up early(ish), put on workout clothes, grab the largest water bottle I could find, and pick up one of Gretchen Rubin’s books. Reading on the stairmaster is really nice. Unlike with running, you are not moving so much that you can’t also read. This morning habit adds energy and gives me something to think about each day.

Can you spot my book in the background?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am packing for a trip (or, I should be). Haven’t quite packed yet. A weird thing about airplanes is that apparently people with low blood pressure are more likely to faint at such a high altitude. My mom and I both have low blood pressure. Here’s hoping we don’t pass out like two Victorian ladies. To prevent such historical reenactments, we will eat salty foods and take Dramamine. Our trip is to Spain, and a friend of mine gave me a list of places to visit! Planning a trip is my mom’s forte (I firmly believe that if psychology was not her calling, she would make a great trip advisor). Therefore, every minute of our time will be accounted for!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am meeting up with one of my favorite modest fashion bloggers!

For comparison, here are two fashion choices that I’m proud of:

We have many mutual friends and live in the same area, so on Wednesday, we will go on a thrifting date. She also has a little business where she buys and sells thrifted clothes. However, her clothes are extremely cheap, which I respect her for. I never liked people who bought a tank top for $2 and marked it up to $35 on Depop. We plan to hit up two thrift stores near us, and I hope we will have time to talk and get to know each other as well. While I am decidedly not a fashion blogger, wearing an outfit that inspires you can have a powerful impact on your day.

Since this blog has been aptly named “Adventures of a Grad Girl”, not “Adventures of a Fashionista”, I will give you a grad school update as well. Grad school officially ended for the year. My professor’s last “hurrah” was to assign an 18 page, single spaced final exam, of which he will only grade 3 questions. But I overcame that hurdle, and I am proud that I finished in advance. This summer, my only plans are to work and to travel. I also want to apply to more scholarships. I was excited to find out that I got a scholarship this June! A secret that no one tells you about grad school (until you are well in the trenches of an expensive education) is that grad students don’t get any federal aid besides loans. So, I take finding scholarships quite seriously. My efforts have paid off so far, and I enthusiastically advocate for the “find scholarships from an external source” approach. My mom, who also went to psychology school, was lucky enough to find a scholarship that covered her entire education. As a first generation immigrant, that was quite an accomplishment for her. Unfortunately, that scholarship no longer exists, but many others do!

Last, my practicum starts in September. I am really excited to work with actual clients! In preparation, I’ve been reading a therapy book that is slightly more psychoanalytic than the CBT approach we are currently learning in school. After all, I must be prepared for any situation I encounter.

It is now 9:30 am, so I will get started with my day. Catch you soon!


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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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