What do I do with this information?

I just got my organizational psychology midterm back and I didn’t do as well as I wanted. It was the usual story. I started studying long before everyone else, worked my butt off, felt like I knew the information and then made a series of mistakes and got one of the lower scores in the class.

I can rationalize this away. I can remind myself that grad school grades don’t have an impact, that I should be proud of myself for working hard, that I enjoyed studying the material which has merit and could apply the material in a workplace. But it still sucks. Per usual, I don’t know what to do with this information or these feelings. How often does that happen to you? Do I just hold the fact that I am a bad test taker (it wasn’t that I didn’t know the information I just actually misunderstood the questions). Do I go to specialist to get test prep help? Do I brush this off since the grade doesn’t really have an impact? Do I wallow that I always work harder and do worse in school than others and then just get over it?

The irony is that I am pretty sure I don’t want to go into organizational psychology. I have been looking at jobs for months and I can’t find one I am interested in. I accept my current job since I thought it would shed some light on this situation. My job runs parallel to organizational psychology work – evaluating, assisting and improving smaller non-profit through coaching and other resources. Day-to-day, I do more case management of the smaller non-profits. The responsibilities play out to be more relationship building, trend evaluation, designing small events and resources and being a liaison between my larger organization and these smaller organizations.

I am mind-numbingly bored at work. I fight to stay alert during meetings, find myself focusing more energy on motivating myself to work than actually working, and often feel annoyed or frustrated with the tasks at hand. Most mornings I wake up and my first thought is asking myself if it’s Saturday (Sunday is also good but Saturday means I have the whole weekend ahead of me).

And so I am back to my previous state – what do I do with this information and these feelings – asking different questions. Does this mean I don’t like organizational psychology? Does this mean I don’t like this organization? Is this because I am 0% inspired by my team? Would I be happier if I got to do the coaching? Would I be happier if I could teach classes to help these non-profits.

I don’t think so. I don’t really know but I don’t get excited thinking about it.

On the other hand, I could follow in the family footsteps and do clinical psychology/social work. The content and potential jobs appeals to me. The issue is that the path to get there sounds grungie and the lifestyle for the first few years out of school sounds icky and highly unpredictable. I also want to try it out before I commit and I don’t really know how to do that.

At least I have exhausted myself thinking about all this for the past 2 years so I am calmer thinking about it than I used to be. I do get angry that this is taking me so long and that I am in this situation. Anger is a killer so I try and release it but it’s hard.

What do others due in similar situations? What do you do when you receive new information that I don’t know what to do with?

Please advise.

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4 thoughts on “What do I do with this information?

  1. I acknowledge you for all the hard work that you have been doing over the last couple of years. I think that you are doing everything right. The boredom at work, taking classes, considering careers- all very very healthy and productive. I can relate to the patterned thinking. Those thoughts are tough. When those loops take over my brain, I like to ask, “is this useful?” Usually that loosens things up for me a bit. I was reading something the other day that said the best way to engineer an epiphany is to work hard, focus, research, and think about a problem- then let go. Sounds like u’ve done the hard stuff, maybe now it’s time to relax or do things that distract u and let the subconscious work its magic.

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  2. i agree with jbjams. i really felt for you when i first read this as this is hard stuff. but i like the perspective given above and it couldn’t hurt to try it out.

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  3. I read this before and have been thinking about your experience. I was never a great test taker either and its frustrating. However, as you said grades in grad school really dont matter that much. Its what you are doing that will help you like taking these classes; meeting new people; exploring career opportunities that will make it all work. I used to get so wrapped up on the grades as well but in the scheme of things it didnt matter. I remember my buddy Tony who is probably a good test taker but couldnt really sit still to study. I believe that he got a better job than his fellow law school buddies who studied all the time because he was out networking and learning about different opportunities, etc. I really think you are doing some great things by being in action.. I like what Josh said as well. I am trying to work on my being — but is there anything you can look at in this category?

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  4. Thanks, @doublesr. I appreciate it.

    While I logically know these things, the feelings haven’t aligned and the vision isn’t there. My current theory is that a few things are happening – all the past similar experiences hurt me and those feelings are bubbling up, I feel inadequate and – the biggest piece – is I don’t have a vision to hold onto. Instead of being able to say: it’s ok, at least I love doing ___ and I know I will be good at it…I think: it’s ok, I know I tried but I still don’t think I want this.

    It makes it all confusing.

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