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Things that are Freaking Me Out about Grad School

Updated: Apr 20, 2018

This is one of the most informal blogs I’ve written, but I needed to have a real moment here. Two things have happened: I realized that I will be done with my course work for my Ed.D at the end of the summer, and I’ve finally connected with some social media groups for grad students. As I’ve started interacting with other students, I’ve found a common theme: we are all FREAKING OUT! I decided to have a moment with you to just talk about things that I a freaked out about now that I am almost done with the coursework for my Ed.D.

  1. Comprehensive exam. Yeah, I am freaked out about that. I know that there is a rubric for it, but that grading is also very subjective for it. I’ve put in so much work and time into earning this degree—it is a dream of mine to accomplish this goal—and the comps are a scary barrier to even getting to the dissertation work.

  2. Research. Yep, research is a heavy lift. I’ve taken my research and methods courses, and they were a doozy! After reading so much from so many different researchers, you develop a deep respect for the work required to do research. Knowing that I am going to begin this journey as a researcher, is exciting, but also scary.

  3. Independence of dissertation writing. There is a debate with grad students about which is harder: course work or thesis/dissertation. I’ve always been on team dissertation. Coursework is still very much so structured with due dates and clear rubrics. There is never a question about how to get an “A” out of a class. Dissertations, although you do have advisors, are primarily on you and your progress. Some people finish a dissertation in a year or two, and some people take ten years. The end date is a suggestion, but it isn’t necessarily going to be true for you.

This list may be short, but these are BIG ROCKS for doctoral work. I wanted to share my fears because we all have them, and I’m not letting those deter me. How am I dealing with the doubts? With all struggles and challenges, we always figure out a plan. I know that earning my Ed.D is going to be difficult, but it should be. I also know that it is something that I want badly, so I will do it.

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