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Stressing in Sorrento

I almost wrote 2022 at the top of this entry, but it’s a new year! We are on a train en route to Sorrento. I slept well this morning and woke up in time to exercise. My exercising in Italy has consisted of walking many hours a day and fitting 30 minute workouts into the evening. I’ve been wearing my heavy backpack for squats in lieu of actual weights.

Our plan today is to visit Sorrento and then the non-emetophobic family members will take their chances on the boat to Capri. After two very turbulent drives uphill (and crying about feeling nauseous, even though nothing actually happened), I decided I’d better sit the boat out. Fortunately, my grandma chose to skip Capri as well. She says there are too many hills for her. I will have a great time exploring Sorrento with her.

Some of our more social family members (read: grandma) found a place to get coffee at the train station. The coffee in Napoli is truly exquisite, not to mention cheap. At the coffee shop, the employee spoke fluent Russian, so my grandma spent a while talking with him. He was really friendly and dusted some cocoa on top of both my grandma’s and grandpa’s cappuccinos.

Since we still have time on this train, let me tell you about the most stressful semester of my life that I’m about to start. The first thing I am worried about is practicum. We get approved for a set amount of sites to even apply to– you usually aren’t allowed to apply to more than four. I was approved for UCLA, Cedars Sinai, and two sites that I shall not name because of internet safety.

Since I was rejected from UCLA early decision, it’s not worth the risk to wait all the way until late March to hear back from general decision. I am now hoping for Cedars Sinai. My best friend also got approved for that site and we both applied. If they take the two of us and we have practicum again together, I would be the happiest person.

However, if they don’t take me, I’ll be less competitive for internship year in California.
That leads us seamlessly to the next stressor: this January, we are starting to write cover letters for internship. It’s basically the psychologist’s version of a residency, where you could be sent anywhere in the US and where you get paid a little bit of money for your additional training. It’s also really difficult to get an internship in California, but all I can do is try my best.

Stress number three is my dissertation. My dissertation chair didn’t look at my dissertation in the fall, when edits was due. While my peers have their edited drafts, mine is still a rough draft. Then, my dissertation chair promised me that he’d look at it over winter break, but that, too, did not happen. He asked for another extension until the spring. I have to defend my dissertation in March and, folks, that’s spring. I’ve decided to get into high gear and email every professor possible to look at my dissertation in the mean time. I also plan to submit it to the writing center, email the director of the school, and email my prospective dissertation reader. My mom even suggested that I pay a clinical psychologist to look it over but that may be too much. I want to look for solutions rather than throwing in the towel, but it’s difficult to depend on someone else.

That’s it for my stressors. I had two options: I could cry, rage, and send passive-aggressive emails (tempting) or I could look for solutions (difficult). Here I am, trying to do the latter. We have almost arrived arrived to Sorrento, so I’ll talk to you later!

Update: Sorrento was beautiful. Here are some pictures:


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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!

4 thoughts on “Stressing in Sorrento

  1. Oh man, I am sorry about all the stress, especially the dissertation stuff. That is wild. I am proud of you for looking for solutions and doing your best. I can’t wait to hear about your internship in the future. I remember college being way more stressful for me than “regular” adult life is right now with a home, pets, bills, and kids. No joke!! You are doing a great job.

    How cool that your grandma was able to speak with the employee in the coffee shop in Russian!!


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