Life Update- Lots of Stuff!

So, since my last blog post, I have a lot of things that have happened since.

I got approved for my student visa on May 18th.

I’ve been waking up every day without anxiety since announcing that I am quitting LinkedIn. I haven’t been back on since the 16th and I am deleting my account on the 25th.

I’m getting my class schedule worked out for the 1st year. I should be able to take all courses during my 1st year, but if not, I’ll just have 1 course left for my 2nd year.

I got 6 days off in a row for work. It’s nice to have a break.

I’ve been emailing some professors for more information so that I can pick courses the best that I can. I’ve been trying to be more deliberate than during my bachelor’s or master’s degree for taking courses.

I’ve also been going to online events that will make me a better academic. Things like learning the basics of peer review, how to use software, being a better teacher and learning pedagogy, things like that.

That leaves me with slightly under 3 months left at my Walmart job. I sincerely hope that’s my last retail job ever. I’m not against working retail, it just tends to be heavy on my body and some of the customers are… not the best. I’ve been trying to pick up as many hours as I can since I’ll be leaving soon and I want to come into the doctoral program with as much money as possible.

Notably, I will be averting working retail during my PhD program. I can work jobs that pay better, are related to my fields of study, and I am concerned that some retail jobs would try to make me work beyond the 20 hours a week off campus limitation a student visa gives. No retail job is worth losing future immigration opportunities.

One slight concern is that my advisors are aiming for me to graduate in 5 years, but I would prefer to finish in 4. University of Manitoba has a hard limit of 6 years for doctoral studies and I feel that 5 would be coming close to that. Also that I turn 26 on May 26th and that in 4 years, I turn 30. Canada starts taking away points for age after you turn age 30 for immigration and I would like to avert as much point taking away as possible even though a year’s worth of Canadian experience, a PhD from a Canadian university, and being below age 35 is enough to be near the top for permanent residency. Also that I’m going to be right around the poverty level during the bulk of my doctoral studies and that I want to minimize the time being a broke graduate student. I don’t need a whole lot of money to comfortably live, but poverty level is not it. From personal experiences, 150% to 200% poverty level is the amount of money that’s comfortable for me.

Anyways, I’m pretty excited to start! For those that feel the need to send PhD horror stories- don’t because I’ve read a lot of them! I am well aware of things that could go wrong and I am trying my best to mitigate that. While I will mainly be focusing on academia, I will dedicate some time to things industry likes- Like sharpening my R coding skills, learning more Python, getting some experience with Item Response Theory and other things industry likes to hire for in my field.

For June and July, I’ll be mainly focusing on acquiring housing, applying to on campus positions, going to some online events for campus, getting courses finalized, and getting the logistics down for August.

Overall, been pretty happy!

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