The harshness of April is for real. We are all feeling it. Why does it feel so muh more difficult this year than it did last year? Perhaps I just forgot about its harshness?
So, why is it so harsh?
It seems to be a common consensus in academia (at least on my campus) that April is the hardest month. One of my professors always tells us “Nobody Quits in April.” If you still want to quit in July after you’ve slept and showered then that’s fine. But. Nobody. Quits. In. April.
What are the particular April devils for grad school?
- Deadlines. On deadlines. On deadlines. All of them are happening right now. Everyone (including my students which may have been dumb on my part) seems to have some big thing due in April. Papers and projects and presentations, oh my!
- Speaking of presentations. . .Presentations. Our school has our symposium in less than a week and I am giving two (TWO) presentations. Why? According to my friends in my cohort, it’s because I have a death wish.
- Grading. I think we all have a lot of it. It’s taken me longer than a week to get this paper back to students, but will get it back to them before class on Monday (they were due late last week). Damn.
- Finances. As the end of the semester approaches, our financial aid is running out.
- Life outside of school. We always joke that we don’t have them. . .I think that’s partially because we don’t want them. I can deal with all of the school stuff, but add family, long-distance relationships, and things that come up with friends into the mix and it makes everything a little more intense.
- Life inside of school. Not the academic part, but things like clubs and work and committees. . .
- Motivation. Just motivation in general. Does anyone have any motivation left?
So, how do people deal with April? A fellow grad student and myself were telling each other “Nobody Quits in April” while simultaneously discussing property in rural California and Oregon on which to build our commune.
Six weeks left, all. Six. Weeks. Left. Let’s just hope I don’t die before then.