SOC309 – PhD’s Guide to Relationships


It’s almost the most romantic day of the year – good ol’ V-Day. While the gang has looked at family and romantic relationships from a sociological perspective, we’re taking an inner deep dive into ourselves this week with a PhD’s Guide to Relationships! Graduate school is a weirdly autonomous yet lonely time, so this week we discuss our experiences with managing romantic and platonic relationships while balancing a full course load, TA/GAships, and of course, writing a dissertation. Tune in to see how we do it and remember, you’re not alone!


Relationships, romance, friendship, graduate school


Here are the tips we covered this episode that we’ve found particularly helpful in our own lives. Hope they are for you, too!

  1. Find a person that is equally busy and tired. No explanation needed– you’re both tired and just happy to grab a bite to eat together every now and then.
  2. Communicate how busy you are! Explain to loved ones that you’re crazy busy, and give them actual concrete examples, like, “Sorry I’d love to, but I have 2 books to read, one response and a bunch of grading to complete by Monday.” Just saying, “I’m busy, I can’t,” can make it seem like you’re using school as an excuse to avoid them, rather than it being a real issue that’s getting in the way of you spending time with them.
  3. Purposefully make time for them. REAL ASS TIME, QUALITY TIME– not time where you’re staring into the screen of your phone or computer 50% of the time. Try not to be distracted and enjoy your time with your fam, BFF, or significant other. Another tip to this is to schedule a routine time for that person.
  4. Talk to them about your research! Don’t bore them or use them as a test audience for your next conference presentation, but try to include them in what your brain is consumed with right now. Plus they might make some poignant observations that you can use! 
  5. Invite them to your grad student events. In Hawaii, we have beach days and BBQs where we gather, eat, drink, gossip, and play with our dogs. Bring your partner, friend, parent, sibling, or whoever! This will give them a glimpse into and appreciation for your grad school existence.
  6. Understand that every relationship requires work. It’s a two-way street baby, and you both need to give, so you can take. So, do your part and make sure your other half is doing theirs. Hold each other accountable!

Quick breaks:

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