Balancing it all — school, work, and life — is a tremendous challenge for Masters and Ph.D. student at all points in our programs. In addition to the support system we have on Western’s campus, we’ve collected some helpful websites, essays, and blog posts to provide some advice and support for students just trying to get through the degree process in one piece!
Counseling Services at Sindecuse Health Center:
[from their website]: We offer short-term individual, couples and group counseling for a diverse student population. The counseling process can help students learn skills to cope with problems and develop new ways of thinking, which may lead to a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.
Your time at Western Michigan University may include stress, complicated decisions or challenging situations. Counselors help students identify challenges and make changes to manage the emotional and social difficulties that might complicate college life:
- Relationship or family conflicts
- Stress and anxiety
- Grief or loss
- Social and peer pressure
- Sexual identity questions
- Trauma and post-traumatic stress
- Adjusting to college life
- Feeling down or depressed
- Body image or eating disorders
Your first visit
When you first come to the health center, you’ll start with the receptionist on the main floor, check in at registration, then come upstairs to Counseling Services for a short intake meeting with a counselor. After this meeting, another appointment will be scheduled at the earliest available time.
Call (269) 387-1850 to make an appointment to see a counselor, or visit http://www.wmich.edu/healthcenter/counseling.
[from their website]: Grad Resources is committed to supporting the emotional and spiritual needs of graduate and professional students across the United States and around the world so they can pursue their purpose with passion and determination.
We understand the demands of school and life placed on graduate and professional students. For this reason, we provide online materials, on-campus speakers, meaningful connections, and supportive faith-based communities that enable them to flourish personally and professionally.
While we are a faith-based non-profit organization, Grad Resources adheres to a strict policy of offering practical support services to all students and spiritual resources only to those students who express interest.
Essays, Articles, and Blog Posts
- **NEW** Laura Mitchell’s post on “Balancing Grad School and Non-Academic Opportunities” (good for career advice, as well).
- Katie Shives’s thoughts on “Cultivating Happiness in Grad School.”
- From Colleen Flaherty, an article about the “Academic Kindness Tumblr,” a blog documenting small acts of kindness in academe. And a link to the Tumblr itself: Academic Kindness
- Justin Dunnavant’s advice on getting organized for the new year! “Five Organizational Tips for the New Year”
- Ashley Wiersma’s blog posts on “Getting More Done in Less Time”
- Andrea Zellner’s essay on “Chasing Away the Winter Doldrums”
- Marc Parry’s article, “You’re Distracted. This Professor Can Help,” an essay on techniques for improving your focus and increasing your awareness of how you use digital tools.
- Lee Bessette’s article, “Bad Female Academic: Just Say No” on the power and importance of learning to say “NO” to new projects and responsibilities.
- Ashley Wiersma’s advice on “Thriving in a Pressure Cooker: Building Strong Support Networks” in graduate school.
- Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s essay on recognizing and dealing with academic perfectionism, “The Costs of Perfectionism.”
- Emily VanBuren’s blog post on The Value of Humor for grad students. Learn to laugh, guys!
- Liz Homan’s post on (food) fueling the body and the mind in grad school!
- Kelly Hanson’s essay on our dual identities as students and as workers, and a reminder to balance your work time accordingly.
- Katie Shives’s blog post on Hacking Your Work Space with Ergonomics (and keeping your degree from destroying your body!)
- Laura B. McGrath’s post on Staying Active in No Time at All (helpful for those of us who never seem to have any free time!)
- An excellent (and well-written) list of “10 Ways to Foster Happiness and Productivity in Grad School,” from the Wandering Medievalist.
- Liz Homan’s blog post on keeping romantic and family relationships alive and healthy during grad school: “Dissertation Does Not Mean Divorce.”
- A nice reminder from Katie Irwin that there IS life outside of grad school… there is time for slowing down and “Remembering Your Humanity.”
- Posts from GradHacker about being a first-generation grad student… with helpful information and advice for all of us pursuing this life! Alica Peaker and Katie Shives’s “From First-Gen College Student to First-Gen Grad Student” and Jess Waggoner’s “Graduate Study for First Generation Students.”