This is the time of the fall semester when most of us are making the big final push to winter break. Finals, both ours and our students, are coming up. For some of us it means mid-term reviews are due. For others it means preparing to head out for research over the break. For me especially, its the time of year when I alert friends and family that I’m locking myself to my desk and won’t be in contact until after my work is done.

That is why Thanksgiving is so important. Not because we get a couple days off (which I for one am very thankful for), but because it gives us a chance to pull back from the madness of the end of the semester and focus on non-academic life. It is easy to get wrapped up in schoolwork and forget that real life is out there. That’s why this Thanksgiving I propose that we see it as a chance to relax and think about the little things. There’s a tendency in grad school to get caught up in the big goal, the dissertation or the job at the end of the tunnel. So take a step back and think about all the little things you’ve accomplished, all the people who have helped you on your way. Its time to take stock of what we have rather than what we are going to have.

Here are some things that we here at GradHacker are thankful for:

Amy: I’m thankful for the…
…financial support of my home department, English, over the years in the form of teaching fellowships. Thank you to the American Studies Department for my current teaching appointment.
…excellent mentorship (and encouragement!) I’ve received from my department’s job market committee, especially its indefatigable chair.
…collegiality of those that I teach with in American Studies. Thank you, especially, to my supervising faculty member and co-instructor. You’ve helped to make this semester an enjoyable and meaningful experience.

Andrea: I am thankful for the graduate program whose rejection of me made me rethink what I was doing so that I could land in a program that I love.
I am thankful for the faculty who kindly tolerate my stubbornness, my wild ideas, and whose guidance makes me better.
I am thankful for the community of grad students both at my University and on the interwebs, some of whom I’ve never met, whose generosity, advice, and plain old commiseration make the hard days better and the good days possible.
I am most thankful for my family- especially my parents, who know that if I ever finish this degree, I am whiting out my name to replace it with theirs. I couldn’t do it without you.

Chris: I am so very thankful for, not only being able to attend graduate school, but all of my educational opportunities.  So often education is taken for granted, where it should be viewed as a blessing and a privilege.  I am also so thankful for my family, friends, and the educators along the way that supported me and my goals.

Cory: I’m thankful for my supportive boss who constantly encourages and supports me in all my endeavors. I’m thankful for my program which allows me to take classes at night and doesn’t force me to choose between my job and school. I’m thankful for my parents who tell me how proud they are of me.  And I’m thankful for my husband for all the support, love and snuggles he gives me.

Julie: I’m thankful for opportunities to expand my knowledge outside of my discipline.

Katy: I am thankful for my advisors who support me through my various endeavors and inspire me to do my best; for my family who asks only that I do what I love and what will make me happy; my friends who tolerate the crazy person I become during the end of the semester; and the boy who is the only one who pushes me to take a step back from school and actually relax.

Terry: I am thankful for: the amazing community I’ve been a part of, the support of family, and the mentorship I’ve received from faculty, staff, colleagues, and my fellow students.

What are you thankful for?


[Image by Flickr user Sugar Daze and used under Creative Commons License]


5 Responses to Being Thankful in Graduate School

  1. […] at GradHacker they’re discussing “Being Thankful in Graduate School.” Last year Team ProfHacker shared “Three Things We’re Thankful For.” […]

  2. […] promise I’ll have more for everybody soon. In the mean time, a recent GradHacker post was most appreciated (and sorely needed) by yours truly. This is what Thanksgiving is all […]

  3. First Year says:

    the extra 5 hours that Thanksgiving break gives me to work on a paper and presentation that are due next week. pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

  4. To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.

  5. […] promise I’ll have more for everybody soon. In the mean time, a recent GradHacker post was most appreciated (and sorely needed) by yours truly. This is what Thanksgiving is all […]

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