As the season changes...

Take a deep breath. Breathe in the crisp air and take notice of apple spice aroma.

How are you feeling? Is it time for a reset?

Take the time you need this holiday season. Use this holiday season (and honestly every holiday season) to refresh your life.

How might one do this? Well, I am glad you asked; check out the list below.

The above list represents a few things you can do to get started. If you are looking for help in any of these topics, feel free to check out of the Gratified Grad - YouTube for resources or you can book a session with me.  

All the best as you prepare for this natural transition.

My First Year of Grad School... (3 min read)

My first year of grad school was complete and utter hell!

I have been depressed and hurt, but I’ve never felt depth of struggle I felt as a first year graduate student. I had forgotten my worth (really I didn’t fully know it to begin with). I quickly realized I did not have all the skills I needed to succeed (and why would I expect myself to? The point of grad school is to teach you those skills). I was growing mentally, but I just didn’t think I was growing fast enough. The stress and lack of true self care started to take a physical toll: heart racing, couldn’t sleep, ear thumping, either saying screw it all or caring waay too much..

Then I broke.

Lucky for me, I’ve always fallen back on positivity and a great support group. I realized I don’t have to be here (meaning graduate school, Pennsylvania, etc). I am choosing to stay here and I’ll be damned before I let anything or anyone take away my blessing of living, actually living, life. This change in perception has been ground breaking. Looking back I was experiencing the culmination of imposter phenomenon, leaving the South, family, friends, black culture, old habits, and soo much more. I was growing and the “unforgiving box” I was living in was creating pressure.
As I started talking to other grad students and even undergrads about their stresses, I found out majority of people was taking some type of medication to “keep them going” and sane. I am not knocking those who do that, but I have never been one to take medicine (not even ibuprofen). For some reason this traumatic culture of graduate school is the accepted norm, but I refuse to let that be my story. Sure, there are stressful and pressured MOMENTS, but that’s just it: they are moments. I work hard and efficiently. I enjoy my learning process and the expansion of critical thinking skills. I have also made it a point to practice REAL self-care. The moment my health begins to suffer, a change is made and if it comes down to a change in my life’s direction, I am ok with that.

“…it’s like any growth, you can’t be ready for it because it’s growth, it’s gonna be new … you’re gonna have a new life, be a new person…”

Time Management

I am intentional when it comes to the use of my time. It’s one of the few things we can never get back.

Why spend something so precious worried or wishing you were doing something other than what you’re currently doing.

I recently held a workshop on Prioritizing and Scheduling during the Penn State Minority Graduate Students in STEM lunch series. The important thing I want to people to take from this is that best practice is to try out tips and change/modify them until you find something that works for you.

I have attached a copy of my facilitators guide below.


Books for Growth