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If you are a graduate student struggling with feelings of inadequacy, lack of motivation, or just plain stress, please know that you are not alone. You may feel incapable, but you are very capable of these things: You can act confident with your faculty while cultivating real confidence. You can deal with your advisor in a professional manner, asserting yourself while being respectful and open to criticism. You can give yourself permission to take breaks and reward yourself for getting work done. You are a uniquely talented, bright person who can survive graduate school. Getting a higher degree is an important career goal, but it is just one of your life goals. Your success is not defined as what degree you obtain or how long it takes you to obtain it. You should not feel guilty for taking breaks, staying fit, having friends, or having a hobby. These activities will help give the mental healthiness and confidence you need to succeed at graduate school as well as at life.
Date of Publication: July-Aug. 2008