It’s About Time: Managing the Dissertation Advisor-Advisee Relationship During The Chaos of the End of the Semester

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Pulling hairGrad student: “I put so much work into this draft! What does she want from me?”

Advisor: “How many more times will I have to tell him before he gets it right?”

Grad student and advisor: “Aaaaack!”

This is a stressful time of year for academics. A friend of mine used to say that we go from “Mad March,” to “Awful April,” and then finally to “Mellow May,” and “Joyous June.”

What makes this season so difficult?

  • Full drafts of theses and dissertations are coming in from this year’s graduates
  • Future graduates are preparing dissertation and thesis proposals and beginning to start their research
  • Classes are at their most intense workload for both students and professors
  • Job talks are ongoing, as are hiring decisions
  • For many, it’s nearing the end of two long semesters, so people are even more depleted than they were in December

At times like this, it’s important for both graduate students and professors to remember that the stress goes both ways. This is a time when emotions are high, and there is a great deal of pressure on both sides of the advisor-advisee relationship.

Relationship stress of this type takes a huge toll on your productivity and quality of work. Please take a moment to learn how you can do something about the stress level, whether you’re the professor or grad student.

small blue arrow Click here to find out what you can do to make your advisor-advisee relationship go more smoothly.

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