Has it been six months already?

It has been six months since my last post… time does fly!

I started out my blog with the objective of practicing and improving my writing skills; however I have been too immerse in academic work and personal life adjustments that it has been hard to keep up with it. Now, I have made the commitment to go back to writing on my blog on a weekly basis and I will make my best to achieve this goal.

So, this seems like a good opportunity to recap on the events that have taken place in the past six months in my academic and non-academic life.

Academically, life seems to have shifted to a slow-motion setting since I finished my Ph.D. coursework. I can say, for sure, that I do not miss homework assignments and the anxiety before finals… However, what I do miss is the sort of structured routine that taking classes used to bring to my weekly schedule.

Having no class hours to add to my calendar leaves a lot of space for adding academic and personal tasks, which can be pretty overwhelming. I have tried to organize my calendar in the most productive ways possible; I have read posts and blogs on what other people do to remain productive; I have tried many different apps to organize my projects and goals; however,  I have been able to remain structured on only two things: adding my oh-so-needed weekly workout hours and setting the times and days for working in my school office.

At the beginning of this Fall semester, I spent some time setting my short-term and long-term goals. This helped me to set deadlines and action items, which I have been able to fulfill without driving myself crazy and/or dying of stress.  We are already one month and a few days into this semester and it seems like I have no over dues and I keep handling things smoothly…But, wait… Is a Ph.D. student supposed to have that feeling?

Before letting the anxiety of finding the answer to that question take over me, let’s talk about the changes in my personal life!

After several years of maintaining a long-distance relationship, my fiancé and I are finally in the same place, both of us pursuing our academic goals! This switch from individual to couple’s life has been extremely interesting and I won’t deny it, it has brought a lot of stability to my days.  This stability has to do with being able to enjoy my relationship more and finally leave aside the downsides of doing long-distance.  I can sincerely say that it was worth the wait!

Living as a couple brings planning to the picture once again. We try to match our schedules so that we would have enough time to fulfill our academic tasks and still have some quality time together.  Every time I get proofs of how important it is to find this life-Ph.D. balance and I am working really hard to make it work for me.

If you have some advice on how to create a structured schedule, I would greatly appreciate your insights! I would also love to hear what you do to keep a good life-Ph.D. balance.

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