- 7 years ago
Despite my bravado yesterday in a thread about bees in grad school, I think I’m a little more overwhelmed than I’d like to admit. I’m getting my master’s right now in the UK (I’m a proud American bee myself), and I’m just one dissertation away from my degree. (Or so I hope…we haven’t gotten results back from last semester yet! Hopefully I passed!) I’ll need to hand in a draft around August 10th, and the final is due four weeks later.
I just got engaged a week and a half ago, although it already seems like eons have passed. A lot has happened in that time: my mom came to visit, which was a week gone from my work schedule. I’m leaving the country to visit FI’s in-laws in Europe; that’s another week gone. Now, some more of my very close family wants to come see me…maybe in the last week of July! They are really bad at planning, so the fact that I don’t even know IF they’re coming is stressful too. But that would be another week where no work could occur.
So that’s three weeks gone from a work schedule for a paper that’s effectively due in about a month! On top of all this, I have tons of correspondence (amazing how interesting you become to people once you’re engaged), plus I’m dealing with immigration lawyers and filing visa paperwork so my Fiance can emigrate.
In short, I am growing quite overwhelmed. And what makes it especially difficult is that my advisor knows ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT ANY OF THIS and is setting deadlines and expectations as if my dissertation is the only thing on my plate. Under normal circumstances, I would say to a student, “Well, it’s your fault! Now is no time for vacations and family visits!” But if I don’t meet my in-laws now, I won’t until the wedding. If my family doesn’t come now, they won’t meet FI’s family until the wedding, either. Immigration and other legal stuff cannot wait or Fiance and I are likely to be separated for over a year. This stuff is not really optional.
So now my advisor is sending back comments on my chapters, saying they “need major work…” And I want to say, “Of course they do! I had a three-day window in which to write one quarter of my dissertation! I’d like to see you do better!” His comments aren’t as bad as I initially made them out to be–completely reasonable and manageable–but I am concerned that he doesn’t know the whole story and a) his expectations in terms of timelines will not be reasonable given the other things happening in my life right now and b) he is going to think I’m an idiot based on work and research that should have taken two weeks but was accomplished in two days.
So my question is: do I tell him what’s going on? I suspect he’d be sympathetic, but I’m afraid it would just sound like an excuse. We have what’s called a “personal tutor,” who is someone you’re supposed to talk to if things are going badly for you in your classes or you need support–but that seems like involving another person unnecessarily. Should I talk to her? I want to talk to Fiance about it, but he’s quite sensititve and I know if I say “I find this all overwhelming” he’s going to hear “I don’t like being engaged to you.” But of course I could not be happier, and it has nothing to do with him! It’s all the other stupid stuff.
Sorry this got mind-numbingly long. The tl;dr is: I am overwhelmed at school and wondering whether I should tell my advisor about my engagement.
Thanks for your help ladies!