Pro-Tip: Comp/Qual Exams

Make friends or at least get along with someone enough that they will be willing to talk to you outside of school about school related situations.

You can quote me on that.

You will naturally panic, lose sleep, eat less/more, positively & negatively surprise yourself, and definitely doubt your intelligence. You’ll then seek opinions, help, and validation from family and friends, then move on to those that you know that have experienced similar situations but not currently, try all the coping mechanisms within your arsenal, and then realize you’re not equipped to address this new level of emotional/physical discomfort because you don’t feel any relief.

You need to talk to someone that you can trust that you also know is going through the same situation—as close to same as possible. Everything you’re feeling stems from isolation on every level. Unfortunately, misery loves company but we’re reframing that as validation and being reminded that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling.

Important to note not to mistake someone’s willingness to talk to you as an act of kindness. You definitely don’t want to seek reassurance in someone that’s going to intentionally put you down so they can uplift themselves. Also, the individual that will use your conversation against you.