Books · Personal

Musing Mondays – University Stress and Reading as Stress Relief

Musing Mondays (1).png

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted at The Purple Booker (formally hosted at Books and a Beat) which asks you to answer either the random question or one of the following prompts:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

This week’s random question: Does reading help you to release stress during stressful times? Do you have a favorite book that you return to for calm?

I didn’t blog much last week at all because I’ve had stress induced migraines all week. So, in this week’s Musing Mondays I decided to just vent all of my stress and yes, it’s mainly about university although some of it is about work and Christmas and all sorts of other things.

So, my main source of stress at the moment is university which is hilarious because I’m not currently at university. However, I am currently in the middle of filling out a PhD application to sign away my life for another 3 to 6 years (fun times). When lecturers encourage you to apply for a PhD place they don’t tell you how stressful the application process is.

Firstly, you have to make sure that you have a supervisor willing to take you on before you even start your application, which is fine if you’ve sorted it out during your previous degree like I did but it’s not fine if you’re having to email 100 different lecturers hoping that one will take you on as a student. The proposal itself is a nightmare. The university I’m applying to wants a proposal, a plan, a timescale, and a personal statement in 1,000 words or less. That’s just not possible. I’m currently on 894 words without a plan or timetable but hopefully my supervisor will get back to me about my proposal before Friday.

Then you have to have references which is fine but when your MA supervisor and your potential PhD supervisor are the same person you have a small problem. You’re meant to have your dissertation supervisor give you a reference because they know you best (plus you have to find another random academic willing to provide a reference but that’s easier) but that means that they’re providing you a reference for something that they’ll be supervising. I don’t even know if it’s allowed but I hope it is. I need to ask. I then have to provide a sample of my work which is great but the university already has all of my MA work because it’s the same uni as where I did my MA. That means that if I make any edits they’ll know. Again, it’s a bit weird.

Finally, I have to apply for funding. I’m not even going to go into that because it’s terrible and just thinking about it makes me want to cry. So, that’s my university woes.

However, my job makes me realise why I want to do a PhD in the first place. I hate my job. I’ve been there a month and I hate it. It’s just a basic minimum wage job because I’m skint but it’s awful. I need to get back into education so that I can go into a research career instead of being in a job like the one I have now.

Also, Christmas is just around the corner which makes my job even worse because I’m in retail. I have to work until 7pm on Christmas Eve and I’m not happy. I do have Boxing Day off. Christmas is a nightmare in general though. I haven’t bought all of the Christmas presents yet and the tree isn’t even up yet, it’s meant to go up today but it won’t because none of my family finish work until late tonight. I hate wrapping things and I just can’t wait for it all to be over to be honest.

So, that’s why I’ve had stress induced migraines and it’s also the reason I haven’t been blogging much. My next blog post should be up on Thursday and hopefully it’ll be a review.

Does reading help you to release stress during stressful times? Do you have a favorite book that you return to for calm?

This random question fits in perfectly with my little rant. What a coincidence. Reading is a huge stress relief for me and while I don’t have a favourite book to read when I’m stressed I do generally pick up a certain genre.

I tend to read Young Adult or Middle Grade books when I’m stressed because I don’t want to deal with the complex language and insane plots of my favourite books. I just want to read about adventure and fantasy worlds when I’m stressed.

Do you read when you’re stressed?

I’m now going to answer the comments that have been building up from previous posts and then I’m going to tidy up and read before work.

10 thoughts on “Musing Mondays – University Stress and Reading as Stress Relief

  1. Right now I’m in the midst of finals and although I REALLY want to pick up a book in read, I know that I definitely don’t have the time. The thought of reading is more of a motivator for me than anything else– in a few more days I can go back home and then I’ll have all the time in the world to read!
    Good luck with your PhD application!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a shame! They’re too expensive to do just because you love the subject too. I need a PhD to get the job I want in literature so even though I’m doing it because I love the subject it’s necessary for my future career.

      Thank you 😊


      1. Because I’m Canadian and would pretty much be limited to an Irish university or Oxbridge (with international tuition rates), it’s not in the cards for me 😦 However, I do my own private research and I work for a university in student affairs! I think I’m at a good place now- think being the key word haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s really unfair. I would imagine that other UK institutions would take you on but the fees are still incredibly steep (but not as bad as Oxbridge). Maybe one day you’ll be able to do it though!

        I think that’s a great place to be and I think it’s wonderful that you’re still doing research. It shows how much you love it! 😊


  2. Thank you for following Musing Monday over to my blog :). I am so sorry you have had stressed induced migraines so much, I understand how bad those are and wouldn’t wish them on anyone. I also never know applying for a PhD was so stressful wow! I hope that the coming week gets better for you and I wish you luck in dealing with the holiday shoppers. I remember those days all to well as well. I suppose technically I still deal with it too, just luckily from the comfort of my home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s too stressful but it is a PhD so I need to get used to constant stress I guess 😂

      At least you don’t have to deal with them face to face now. That has to be slightly better.


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