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What is Burnout, and How Can You Manage It?

Image of papers and blue sticky notes with a planner on top. The section of the planner reads "TO DO LIST." In red marker is written "SO MANY THINGS" December 1, 2021

Nikita Thadani

 

You may have heard the phrase “I’m so burnt out” before. You may have said this phrase yourself – before grad school or during. This phrase certainly pops up more frequently around this time of year, with final papers, exams, and deadlines approaching. But what is burnout? There are several definitions of burnout – let’s take a look at a few of them. 

Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines burnout as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”1 The World Health Organization uses the ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases, 11th edition) definition of burnout, which is “a syndrome conceptualized as …

Finding Mental Health Resources at Mason & Beyond

Image of golden retriever looking happy in the center of the photo. A Mason student petting the dog on the left of the photo, sitting on a green bench and wearing a camo jacket, a paper face mask, and a yellow hijab. On the right, a woman sitting on a green bench, looking straight ahead at the camera, wearing khaki pants, a blue jacket, and a blue polo. November 4, 2021

by Nikita Thadani

As I’m sure many of you already know, prioritizing your mental health in graduate school is key. Although it can be easy to prioritize deadlines, responsibilities, and work over your mental health and well-being, if we don’t take care of our minds and bodies first, we won’t be able to complete all of our many tasks & responsibilities at hand. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup (in this case, you are the cup). 

At the Mason Grad Insider, we’ve written plenty of blog posts about self-care (here and here), meditation, well-being, and resilience as a graduate student. But what about when that’s not …

Grad Student Researchers: Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

October 6, 2021

October 06, 2021 By: Steven Zhou

For many students here in graduate programs at Mason, research is a defining feature of the program curriculum. Whether in a Master’s or PhD program, what you’re probably expecting or have experienced are years of deep study, advanced analysis, and pages upon pages of writing to produce the polished peer-reviewed research articles you need to succeed in academia. Certainly, these skills and competencies are critical to research success.

However, as a PhD student in organizational psychology just starting my own academic career, I’d argue that there’s another often-forgotten skill that’s vitally important: thinking like an entrepreneur.

I realize that this is a bit …

Welcome to Fall 2021 from Graduate Student Life!

Image of the three Graduate Student Life team members standing outside wearing masks and Graduate Student t-shirts September 1, 2021

By Nikita Thadani 

 

The Graduate Student Life team would like to welcome all new and returning graduate and professional students to the 2021-2022 year! We know that many of you are spending time on campus regularly for class or for work, and that many are still taking classes online. No matter how you engage,  we are now better equipped than ever to support you. Graduate Student Life is planning a variety of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events this year, and we hope to see you there. The Mason Grad Insider blog is sponsored by Graduate Student Life and will feature great content, with contributions from colleagues in departments across …

It’s the end of the year as we know it, and we feel fine …

Graduate Student Life staff members wearing Grad Life t-shirts and masks May 12, 2021

By Nikita Thadani and Austin A. Deray

Wow, y’all, it’s the end of the year (as we know it … did anyone else get an R.E.M. vibe there). 

We have now completed three virtual or partially virtual terms, and we think we should all conGRADulate (stealing from our old blog editor Sophie Gorshenin) each other for a job well done. We’ve had some new amazing content come out this year on the Mason Grad Insider, our personal favorites being “Biking through the DMV and These COVID-19 Times“ and “5 Reasons You Should Get a Plant (or Several),” and have had 6 amazing guest writers: Dr. Shannon Davis, Lewis Forrest, Victoria …

5 Reasons You Should Get a Plant (or Several)

Image of a jade plant, panda plant, and 3 other succulents in pots May 5, 2021

By Nikita Thadani

Something you may not know about me is that I’m what my friends would call a “crazy plant lady.” My interest in plants began in high school when I got my first cactus as a birthday present from a friend, and although that cactus eventually died, my collection of ‘plant babies’ continued to grow. While I started my collection small with just a couple of plants, I now have 16 plants that I love! These include a variety of different kinds of plants, including an air plant, a terrarium, cacti, succulents, a peace lily, an orchid, and more. It’s fun to challenge myself with a new plant …

Service Isn’t Just for Undergrads

April 26, 2021

By Shauna Rigaud, PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies

I’ve always understood that community sustains me. When I was a kid, I was involved in all the afterschool programs I could find. Not just because I knew my mom would not allow me to just hang out at my friends’ house or randomly go to the mall afterschool, but because I saw the unique opportunity those programs offered me to find friendship, give back and learn in untraditional ways. I didn’t always think that was the case (I really just wanted to hang out with my friends), but each opportunity that I became involved with helped to build my appreciation for …

What Should You Order from Starbucks (and Other Coffee Shop Suggestions)

Image of a latte with a heart shaped latte art, in the background is another coffee cup with a crunchy waffle snack on top. April 8, 2021

by Nikita Thadani

 

As you all may or may not know, in addition to my role here in Graduate Student Life, I am also a barista of almost five years! I started working at a coffee shop during my freshman year of undergrad and worked there for three years, and have since been working at Starbucks for the past couple years. When I’m starting a study session or settling into an evening class, there’s nothing I love more than doing it with a fresh cup of coffee or tea. Although my time at Starbucks is coming to an end as I will be starting my counseling practicum soon, I’d …

Quick Tips to Being a Mentor to Undergrads!

March 25, 2021

by Austin A. Deray

 

Good day, Mason graduate students! I hope y’all are having a good Spring 2021 and beginning to enjoy the warmer weather. Today’s blog was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my many writing groups (y’all know I love a writing group: “Virtual Writing Communities: How Can We Work Together, while We Stay Apart?”), and I decided to bring it to everyone this week on Mason’s Grad Insider… so let’s get to talking about mentoring. 

A lot of time in grad school, we talk about finding a mentor (“What to Look for in a Mentor”), but recently, one of  my writing groups had …

Finding Balance Between School, Work, and Life

March 3, 2021

By Kerry Hentges, Programming and Administrative Coordinator for University Life SciTech, pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at George Mason

I decided to apply for graduate school 6 years after graduating with my Bachelor’s of Fine Art. I had decided I wanted to be an art teacher, and graduate school was the next step in that process. I was excited to get back into art-making and learn new techniques.

The first thing I was told upon entering graduate school was that I was going to make bad art. The next thing I was told was that I wasn’t even going to have time to sleep during the next …