Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Post 84: FOMO, Grad School, and You

Everywhere we go, there are opportunities to do things, get involved in projects, meet new people, attend workshops. And at some point, if you want to finish your thesis, you're going to need to start saying no to some of these things.

Time is a valuable thing. We only have so much of it to spend. I'm reminded of this watching the news and updates come in from Orlando, where a senseless massacre of innocent, wonderful people who I did not know happened, this weekend. A talented young singer lost her life, and nearly 50 people lost their lives to a man with a history of violence. It is my great hope that the US gets its act together and institutes significant gun reform laws so that we don't have to worry about safety and losing others that are loved, to insanity like the events of this weekend.

Red or common poppies (Papaver rhoeas) from my friend Jenna's garden on Galiano Island. 
After 9/11, everything from box cutters, scissors, and liquids over 100mLs were banned from air travel. When will Americans realize that people with guns kill people, and that they need to be regulated, and that they shouldn't be as easy to access as buying penny candies from a convenience store?! (Okay, it's not that easy, but this reporter was able to buy an AR-15 in under 7 minutes, which to me, is pretty horrifying.)
So while in Canada, the likelihood of being massacred in a nightclub or at a concert isn't as high as it is in the United States, and the chance of unintentional death caused by things such as poisoning, motor-vehicle crashes, cycling, recreational boating, drowning, falls, or burns accounted for about 4.2% of the Canadian population in 2011. Accidents happen, and I have things I want to get done before my life comes to an end!
Neighbourhood California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) with a visiting bee!
One of those things is finishing my thesis so that I can get a stable, fulfilling job working on projects bigger than myself, that attach to communities bigger in scale than simply the circles I walk in. I have a big heart, and I have a lot of energy I want (and try) to spend on the progressive causes that I care about.

So here's to knuckling down, kicking FOMO in the ass, and wrapping up this thesis!

FOMO stands for the fear of missing out, and Wikipedia has a great article all about it, here. So whether you deal with it a lot, or only sometimes, know that if you want to finish your thesis, it'll take a bit of work to understand your own behaviours, the way you make decisions, the kinds of actions you take, and how you prioritize tasks in your life.

Gorgeous "ruby heart hens and chicks" (Sempervivum) succulent from Jenna's garden.
As an introvert, I love meeting up with friends for coffee or over shared meals, and doing this on a one-to-one basis. I don't like big groups, I rarely attend big group parties and massive social gatherings, and value being able to stretch my legs over a catch up, or over a board game. I have also lived in Victoria for almost 10 years now. So when I live quite a ways from campus, so it can be difficult to say no when a colleague or friend wants to meet up for a coffee or get together that requires extra travel and time. I've seen a few days zip by that are 'running errands' and a coffee date, going to the library for one more book, and then I don't get any writing done! Watch out for those days. Don't let those be a habit. But do also make sure to balance your work time with your social time. So don't line up a coffee date or two every day, but do line one up here, and another on the weekend. Go for coffee during breaks, and take your watch so you know your timeframe and don't break it.

Prioritize your writing and work every day. Schedule your writing time and guard it. You can do it, and just like me, you're going to finish your thesis. I'm into the last chapters of my thesis, now. The end is in sight.

Happy writing/editing/revising!

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