I expected the second year of grad school to be easier. Half the program is under my belt, I have the pattern down, I know what the expectations are…cake walk, right? WRONG. In fact, I feel more overwhelmed than I did this time last year. Perhaps it is because I also have this GIANT 60-100 page paper looming over my head that I have to continually work on. Whenever I have free time (which is either after a long work or school day) I feel guilty if I don’t have some form of homework or thesis work in front of me.
But you know what I always forget? To do stuff that makes me happy. I think it is impossible to stay sane and do quality work if you feel guilty or completely overwhelmed. It is important to take time to do something for yourself. It is kind of surprising how cathartic and refreshing it can be to the scholastic process. I went to see the band Atlas Genius earlier this month (they are freaking great live by the way) and it put some pep in my step. While I constantly worry about being able to get all of my work done, I need to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a time (hopefully in the near future) where academic papers are behind me and I can do fun stuff all the time.
So, in short, always find a way to take time for yourself. Whether it be a happy hour, ice cream, concerts, etc. You deserve it.