Monday Motivation #111 (7/11/22)
I’m about to spend four nights in a row with my siblings and their partners. We’ve never spent that much time together as adults, without our parents or our children, and without holidays or family celebrations on the agenda. We’re renting several apartments in the same townhouse, in the random location that had a large-enough rental for the one five-day period of time that (almost) all of us could gather this summer. We’re packing games and guitars; planning meals; and toting along extra computers and monitors and laptops — both for working and for playing. We’ll drive through our hometown on the way, so I’m bringing a cache of the potato chips that we ate as kids (which are only available in northwest Ohio) and stopping at the local ice cream shop for chocolate and sweet treats.
We know how fortunate we are to have each other — and to have enough shared interests and experiences as adults that we can enjoy each other’s company. Our parents taught us that families include whomever you love, and so even though we only see our siblings occasionally we share our day-to-day lives with our chosen families. For me, that includes the friends I met on my first day as an undergraduate at MSU and those who joined our group during graduate school. Last weekend, we got to host several of them (plus their spouses and children) for the first time since the pandemic. My kids were quite entertained to hear stories about their parents, and we shared a few with our friends’ kids too — like the time that we showed up with pizza and a carpet cleaner for a friend who was trying to juggle twin toddlers and a sick pup. These are the people who hosted potlucks and board game marathons; proofread our dissertations; danced at our wedding; and are the godparents of our children.
Building these types of relationships takes time and energy, which are often in short supply. In the midst of deadlines and work projects, it can feel like we just can’t afford to take time “off” for personal relationships. But the people we love are the ones who understand us best, and push us to find some type of balance between work and life. This week, I’m sharing some ideas to help you strengthen your own network of support, and to remember the importance of spending time with the ones we love.
Three Things to Try This Week
Find your People — wondering where to find (and find time for) friends in the midst of studies and research? Check out this advice for building friendships as a graduate student.
Get Inspired — there are lots of ways to be a great friend, and lots of ways to build a supportive community that fits into your life just as it is. These “Friendship Files” stories offer different perspectives and real-life ideas for building and maintaining strong relationships.
Show Up — building the kinds of relationships that can stand the test of time (and the writing of a thesis) requires being present and engaged — but doesn’t always require a huge amount of time or energy. Here are some practical suggestions for how to be a friend to the people you love.
- Make new friends and learn about fun activities at the Fall Welcome Events for Graduate Students, hosted by the Graduate School and the Council for Graduate Students. Learn more about the resource fair and cookout on August 27, and the professional development workshops that week, on the Grad School’s website.
- Going to be here in Fall 2022? Make sure that you’ve enrolled in classes and/or research credits! Instructions on how to use the new enrollment system are available here: https://sis.msu.edu/help/enrollment.html
- Starting in Fall 2022, the Graduate School is adjusting the deadlines for submitting your final thesis or dissertation in order to graduate. Learn more here: https://grad.msu.edu/etd/etd-deadline-dates