If finding time for yourself while in grad school is difficult, then finding time to maintain healthy relationships can be next to impossible. After all, if you want to unwind by binge watching a TV show on Netflix, you have no one’s schedule to work with but your own, but the more committed a relationship you build with someone else, the more your schedule starts to be influenced by theirs.
“I used to let the comparison get me down, feeling pressured to excel beyond what he was doing even though I'm much further back in my career. Competing with a partner is no good, and I realized that I had the best tool at my disposal: someone who had made it though a master's, doctorate, and into a tenure track job successfully. Rather than compare myself now, I get him to help me to take a step back and gain perspective when I'm overwhelmed by the path in front of me. And, on the other hand, there are things about academic life that I'm a bit better at (like planning and organization) that he 's learning and picking up from me. So, for those out there in academic partnerships: competition and comparison is not healthy and will not help to build your relationship. Focusing on the strengths each of you have and using them to make each other more effective and productive is the key. Be happy for each other's successes, no matter how small they are, and accept the inevitability that your careers will move in distinct directions--and that's how it should be.” -Rebecca Conklin, Composition and Communication
Matthew Moffett lives in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, with his wife, Sara, his two kids named Harper and Viola and a Shetland sheepdog named Donny. He studies creative writing and teaches Freshman Composition and enjoys writing really, really, really short poems, which goes well with his busy schedule. He’s not very good at writing about himself.
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