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My 5 am Morning Routine + starting my third year

Today was crazy. I am the only intern present on Wednesdays. So today I was not only a psychologist but also a barrista, snack deliverer, secretary, runner (any time the supervisor called my name), and weight lifter (the board that we have patient names on is heavy).

A candid shot of the intern room, featuring water and fruit that I packed

On the bright side, I now make a mean cup of coffee, and by “make” I no longer mean “combine instant coffee with hot water”. I had two therapy patients. I liked one of them the day I met her and requested to work with her. I could tell she was nice. I should’ve known that the people who appear the nicest are also the people who have been through the most. I’ve seen people like her, but always at [my former site], with drug addictions. Her resilience is incredible.

I was also supposed to have an assessment patient. However, she didn’t show, so we had to reschedule.
Yesterday, I made a mistake while testing her. I thought we would only have time to do two assessments, so I practiced those, but when it came time to start, she suddenly seemed to have the stamina for a third. So, not having a choice, I winged the third one. That was when I made the mistake– you have to wait between one of the subtests and the other subtest for 30 minutes, and I only waited 15, realizing that she wouldn’t be able to stay for 30. My choices were: a) wait 15 minutes or b) do the second subtest in 2 weeks, at her next appointment, which would ruin it as well.

My supervisor reacted in a very understanding way. “To be human is to err,” he said. He reminded me that I broke standardization and should readminister. This would have been funny if I wasn’t so stressed– I was reminded of how parents sometimes give their kids related consequences, and how readministering the same section of a test was a related consequence.
I told my mom about it. She said I was correct for coming forward about it. My mom’s been in this field for a long time, so I trust her a lot.

In the next week, I started to wake up at 5 am. It started innocently and kind of became a routine.


I woke up at 5:30 am today. No, not out of a desire to be a Girlboss, or because I’m trying to see what it’s like to be too sleep deprived to function. It was because I wanted to stay at my boyfriend’s house for the weekend. He was a champ. He made me breakfast, lunch for the next day (complete with a note), and a coffee for the road, because I knew I’d need it. I packed and left the house at 6 am sharp. The road to practicum was a pleasant and easy one, at first. I got to watch the sunrise. The country music station was the only one with reception and the only one playing anything at that hour, which was fine by me.

However, after driving for an hour and a half, sometimes in back to back traffic (“WHO is going to work at this hour?” I wanted to yell) I was very much ready for a nap– that I could not afford to take, as practicum was starting. My verdict: if you want to wake up at 5:30 for #girlboss reasons, make sure you do some girlbossing. Because waking up at 5:30 to drive is not worth it.

My brother cooked this and it was a highlight of my sleep-deprived Monday.

Ironically after this journal entry, I continued to wake up every day at either 5 am or 6 am. My body must have thought I meant business and decided to adjust accordingly. Sleep deprived though I was, I was getting used to a new schedule, one that included:
-being picked up by my best friend at 7 am to make it to school on time
-full class days
-spending Thursdays in the library with same best friend doing dissertation all day.
-having a social life, which meant that I was going to bed late because all outings had to happen in the evening after practicum/work/school.

Although this past week was a hectic one, I genuinely enjoyed it. My life got a lot busier with the third year of my doctoral program starting. So far so good, though. Classes haven’t ramped up just yet.

Here’s a photo dump from the past week:

My friend’s birthday party! I’m second on the right.
The outfit I wore to watch an outdoor Shakespeare play.
Dissertating ft. Best friend
Yet another coffee shop outfit (can you tell all I’ve done is go to coffee shops and study?)
Studying with my sister
My dog found some old rags and developed an emotional attachment to them despite having two perfectly good blankets of his own. I thought it was adorable, so here’s that.

And that, folks, is my new routine! Early mornings and somewhat social evenings. I’ve been taking exercise classes in groups, which has also helped me feel like I’m seeing more people. Overall, all good things.


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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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