(Closed) What do I tell my academic advisor I'm engaged?

posted 7 years ago in College
Post # 4
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Sorry this is stressful. However I don’t think you should make excuses like being engaged. I also doubt he is going to care or have sympathy for you unless you were sick. 

If you truly cannot handle it all then take some time off. If I were you I would priortize everything around my school work. You have to have a set schedule even during the visits which I’m sure will suck. Set aside several hours a day where you work. Let your Fi handle most of the emigration paperwork. Leave your inlaws and parents to figure out their days and do their own things while you work during the day, and perhaps join them later for dinner or hangout time.

I doubt being engaged is a good enough reason to give for why you haven’t finished your work. Plenty of other people have done it while being married, working, and raising kids, which should give you hope, and shows that if you set your mind to it you can do it! Good luck!

Post # 5
2492 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@CornySyrup:  To be completely honest, at that level, you might not get much sympathy. I had a friend who was doing her masters when her Fiance committed suicide. The faculty agreed to extend the deadlines by one week. I have another friend who is doing her phD and had a baby 3 weeks (or maybe 4?) before her major dissertation was due and they gave her 2 days extra. I know you are excited, but unfortunately, most people will not be sympathetic to the cause.

I think you need to re-evaluate right now and look at what is going on. Make a list. Finish dissertation, visit inlaws, etc etc. See if you can come to a compromise to get both done (i.e., “I really want to visit your parents, but I am going to need at least 4-5 hours a day to get my dissertation done well”), or decide what is more important. Frankly, you have 15 months of an engagement and you need one month to finish school, I’d put school ahead without a though. You’ve worked so hard!

The problem I see, beyond this, is even if you talk to him and get an extension, firstly, it won’t look great on you and secondly, it might not be that much of an extension. Would it be worth it?

Post # 6
35 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

@CornySyrup:  I can sympathize.  I was writing my dissertation (at a UK university!) during a time with a lot of very stressful personal stuff going on.  The only way to make it though is to create a schedule and stick to it.  Do you have most of the research portion finished?  That tends to be the biggest part, but the sitting down and forcing yourself to actually write is pretty difficult too.  I ended up getting everything finished on time, without discussing any of the personal stuff with my advisor.  Honestly, I didn’t particularly like him and we weren’t on the same wavelength at all, so it would have been uncomfortable anyway.  It would probably be more of a disservice to you to tell them what’s going on and then be potentially looked at differently than any other candidate in your class.

My best advice is to start RIGHT NOW! with an outline, if you haven’t already.  Break it down into manageable tasks, and get started.  It might not be great, and you don’t even have to start at the beginning, but 2 paragraphs right now is 2 paragraphs more than you had an hour ago.  My biggest regret was to let some of the personal stuff get in the way of my dissertation.  I rocked my exams, and if I had done slightly better with my dissertation, I would have graduated with honours.

Good luck!!!  and By The Way, which uni?  I went to Kent 🙂

Post # 7
945 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I don’t think an academic advisor would sympathize. If I were you, I’d tell my family now is not a good time and put everything on the back burner to make sure you’re doing your best work now. Part of being in school is learning to balance what life throws at you. It’s not the end of the world if your families don’t meet before the wedding, I’ve known this to happen in lots of cases and it goes just fine. Ignore your correspondence until after your done. If they didn’t find oyu interesting before the engagement, they’re probably not a priority.

Post # 8
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Agree with PPs that this isnt something you should even tell him. This is your “choice” to be engaged during this time period. However, it is life and I wouldnt have put off the engagement either. (P.S. and congrats!)

As another PP suggestedI would tell the friends they cannot come. I would tell inlaws and parents that you can only spend X number of hours or days with them or that you can only see them after 5 at night. Then you spend everyday getting up at 6 and spend 10 hours working on the paper or the days you are not scheduled with family working.

Sounds a bit elementary, but get a paper calender and create a schedule hour by hour with color coded time blocks. In each of those time blocks write what you are doing and what is due. Itll help you fit everything in and feel more organized.. Hang that calender on the fridge and give it to your parents and inlaws so they know how much you have to do and wont feel bad that you can only devote so much time to them. 

Post # 9
4150 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would not tell him, and I agree with a PP who said you may not get much sympathy if you did.  I am a PhD student writing my dissertation, and I didn’t tell anyone when I got engaged last year.  It’s almost looked down upon like it’s a distraction.  Not by everyone, but by some, and I didn’t want anyone second guessing my work, thinking I’m distracted.

Post # 10
13095 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I agree with the PPs that I wouldn’t tell anyone.  It would come off as unprofessional, IMO, that you are letting your engagement get in the way of your schoolwork.

I totally agree that you need to set a schedule and stick to it.  Limit the time spent with your family and in-laws.  Block out time during those days where you will work.  In about a month, you’ll be done with school and can focus on everything else but for now, school needs to be your priority.

Post # 12
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Have you explained the situation to your family/in-laws?  Is there any way you can do these visits after you turn in your dissertation?  In any case, I would make the absolute most of any uncommitted time that you have.  And don’t feel guilty about your family, but do give them a heads up that you’ll need to work in the mornings.  

Post # 13
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

If I had told my grad advisors that I would be taking weeks off to see family a month before my dissertation was due, I might have been thrown out of the program. Don’t expect sympathy. Your degree, especially in their eyes, is more important than a week dallying around Europe. Your family will still be there in a month…you will still be engaged in a month…it’s time to buckle down and take this seriously!

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