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My End of Year Doctoral Horror Story

  Hey guys! Ms. Duggan is back! I know it’s been awhile since I updated my blog but as you know I was working in Italy as a mental health clinician on an archaeological dig site. Don’t worry you will get ALL the details later. I’m finally back at work and getting back to my normal busy life and things are going well so far. But around the time I got back into the swing of things I had a major doctoral catastrophe! (Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video “My Doctoral Horror Story” where I am looking at the camera with a terrified look.) While I was away, I was still enrolled in two courses that had been going pretty well. I actually finished one while I was in Italy and received an A in the course.   The other course had one last assignment due that I planned to finish once I got back to the states. However, to my surprise it was due while I was in Italy and I was totally not prepared to finish it. (Figure 2: This is a photo of Ms. Jay, an African American male fashion

The Mid-Semester Crunch

 

It’s the week of Thanksgiving and everything you could imagine is due or very close to being due! I remember being here as an undergrad student; I always felt the most stress around this time. Now as a doctoral student, this stress is gone because I have turned in everything early and my semester is almost over. I figure someone reading this is probably running around like a chicken with their head cut off so here are a few tips on how to beat the dreaded mid semester crunch.


Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video where I am sitting in my office looking at the camera with a confused look. I am wearing an orange floral top, with silver hoops, and my hair is short and curly.

 

First things first have you checked your grades? Around this time, I find that many students do not know their grades and are hoping for the best. While I appreciate the optimism, it is important that you actually know your grades so that you can make informed decisions on your next steps in case something does not go as planned.



Figure 2: This is a photo of a Red A plus on a piece of notebook paper. The A plus is circled.


That brings me to my next point of missing assignments. Have you checked your learning management system i.e. Canvas, Blackboard, D2L to ensure that all of your assignments have been accounted for? The last thing you want to do is notify your professor that an assignment was not counted after grades have posted when they will most likely be on vacation or hard to contact. Ensure that all of your assignments are in NOW.

Figure 3: This is a photo of a question mark on a blue background enclosed in a box.


Communication is key folks. There is only so much Academic Advising or Student Disability Services can do when you have not communicated. No one is perfect and things do happen so do your part by letting someone know immediately. Many times, I have seen students wait until week 13 of the semester before saying anything. Once this happens this typically turns into the conversation that no one wants to hear.

 

Figure 4: This is a photo of a sign that says communication. There is a blue sky with white clouds in the background.


Taking a deep breath is something that we often forget around this time. With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays sometimes, this creates more stress than we know. Remember to take a breath and center yourself. You cannot reach your goals unless you are taking care of yourself. As a teacher, I would often tell my students “I am NOT an Octopus!” This means that I have 2 arms, 2 legs, and 1 brain so if it does not get done oh well! 

Figure 5: This is a photo of a multi-colored Octopus swimming in the ocean. 


Are you feeling the mid-semester crunch? Drop down in the comments and let me know what you are doing to stay on top of things. Also, be sure to sign up for my new email subscriber list for an exclusive freebie! Check out my latest video on the mid-semester crunch below!

 

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