A letter to December Student
Dear December Student,
The new semester begins next week, and I only have one thing to say…
How did this happen? Again?!
We made a plan this year. It was a real plan-of-attack for all of the tasks we were going to accomplish. While your niece made a Christmas list for Santa, you made a Christmas list for your advisor. It was beautiful, color-coded, and had everything to make this next term less hectic.
We were going to start the draft of your dissertation proposal. We were going to smash that literature review. Speaking of reading, you were going to read ahead for that class you want to audit. We still don’t really know what an agent-based model is…
Oh gosh. The conference reviews. Please say you completed at least one of the reviews? I know it’s still tough to think about, but I hope you read through those reviews from our last publication submission. Reviewer #3 is a jerk, but it’s for the Journal of Communication. It will be worth it!
Now you’ll have to juggle teaching, collecting data, and completing that list…
…but I have to say. You look rested. Actually, you look like you took a well-deserved break. Sure, this upcoming semester is going to be tough, but think of everything you accomplished this autumn. A publication, solid conference presentations, and you received really helpful student feedback on course reviews. Importantly, you finally had that talk with your advisor to set clear expectations and a trajectory for your work. She seemed so excited about your dissertation idea. What a great feeling.
Did mom make those holiday chocolate truffle cookies again? I hope you helped her bake them! We have to learn that recipe, it needs to stay in the family forever. Actually, I hope you spent a lot of time with your family. They miss you, and it’s hard to feel connected to them while you’re in graduate school.
It’s tough, isn’t it? Grad school, starting a job…
I changed my mind. Throw away that list. Your advisor will understand. This holiday break is for you! Take the time for getting good sleep, cooking a fresh meal, watching way too many seasons of the Great British Bake Off.
Can I recommend a new meditation app? This is the perfect time to explore a new hobby, and I know you’ve been thinking about knitting lately. It will be great to do something with your hands besides writing, especially one where you can see all your good progress.
I know it doesn’t feel like it sometimes, but you’re making good progress.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday break, December Student. You deserve it.