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Practicing Self-Care (Even When It’s Hard)

September 30, 2020

Hey y’all,

So self-care has become a bit of a buzzword recently. But what does self-care actually mean? What does self-care look like for you?

According to Psych Central¹, “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.”

Self-care isn’t the same as just treating yourself, as a lot of people in the media may promote. Self-care isn’t always doing what’s easy or being indulgent. For me, practicing self-care means instead of lying in bed and scrolling through Twitter (easy), getting up and going on a run (sometimes hard). It means packing a healthy lunch for the next day …

Resilience at Mason in 2020: Take Care of Yourself

September 16, 2020

By Lewis Forrest II, Associate Dean within University Life 

In 2017, I wrote a blog for Graduate Student Life on Resilience at Mason. It seems so long ago, and the world was a very different place. This year has been a rollercoaster, and we all have everyday challenges that come with being graduate students. 2020 on the other hand, has brought us all stressors that we could not have imagined.  

While life brings many challenges, I’d like to specifically acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggle for racial justice via the Black Lives Matter Movement. While COVID-19, has changed the way we operate on a day-to-day basis, it has also challenged our resilience. This pandemic has …

Welcome to the Mason Grad Insider Blog!

September 2, 2020

By Nikita Thadani and Austin A. Deray

We would like to welcome all new and continuing graduate and professional students to the 2020-2021 year! We know classes and campus operations may not be how you had imagined this semester, but we are confident that we will all make an amazing experience out of it nonetheless. The Mason Grad Insider blog is sponsored by Graduate Student Life and will feature great content, with contributions from colleagues in departments across campus. This blog was created to give graduate students a voice and be a guide and resource during their graduate career at Mason. Mason grad students can expect to find a wide …

Study Groups: The Thing to Do in Graduate School

October 9, 2019

By Austin Deray

Since coming to Mason, I have been asked the same question repeatedly from other graduate students coming to our offices’ events: “What should I do as a graduate student?” I must confess it always takes me by surprise, and then I find myself propelled back in time to 2013 when I was working on my master’s. I remember being given two pieces of advice by my professor and mentor at the time, Dr. Jane Rago, both of which were ironically enough supported by research that she had no idea existed: lean on your cohort and connect with a study group. I have written about the importance of …

Breathe In, Breathe Out: Surviving Finals and Planning for the Summer

May 2, 2019

The spring semester is coming to a close, which means that summer break is almost here. We are sure that you are as excited as we are to take a break from the everyday routine of classes and assignments. While often not as demanding, the summer is an opportunity for many of us to move forward in our graduate education by taking extra classes, gaining practical or professional experience in our field, spending time writing our thesis or dissertation, and/or advancing our research skills. For the last post of the year, we want to share with you some techniques for de-stressing as the final exam period approaches and tips for …

Mason Grad Recommended List of Stress Reliever Activities

December 5, 2018

By Sophie Gorshenin

Grab your scantrons, don’t forget to stock up on blue books, and make sure your laptop is fully charged because finals week is right around the corner! We can all see the light at the end of the tunnel as we finish reading our last chapters, complete our final presentations, and type those last sentences for our final papers. Even though we are close to finishing out the semester strong, our time is starting to become extremely limited as we juggle school and life, and finalize all of our plans for winter break. As we balance everything going on in our lives it is hard not to …

Why Your Life Needs More Live Music

October 17, 2018

By Sydney Glass

As graduate students, we often encounter many ups and downs or “rollercoasters” throughout our graduate careers and personal lives, and the burden of both can be overwhelming. It is easy to become consumed by our studies and research because so much of our future depends on successful completion of our program. In doing so, it’s easy to neglect ourselves and those closest to us. To find balance in our lives, it is essential to have a positive outlet and strong support system where we can release our pent-up emotions and renew our motivation to continue. Research has shown that music can be beneficial to incorporate into our …

We Cannot Stress Enough How Important It Is to De-Stress!

October 3, 2018

By Sophie Gorshenin

Pumpkin spice is back in season, fall festivals across NOVA are in full swing, and it’s almost cool enough for sweater weather. Fall is a beautiful season and is one to be celebrated as the leaves begin to change, and yet, as I sit here sipping my coffee with extra pumpkin spiced whipped cream, I can’t help but think about all the looming and upcoming deadlines for all of my papers and exams. For most people who aren’t students, fall is the best time of the year. However, for us mortal graduate students it’s often the most stressful times of the year and is better known to …