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I am in my second year for the master’s degree. I do not like my professor that she is my advisor and the director of the graduate program. She has been testing me and she wants me to react and act more to see if I am the clinician material. She is watching me interact with other students. She asked other students to send me out of blue emails to show an interest, then they act not interested. I know that I am going through rounds of games that my professor is playing with me.

I know I only have one more year, but I could not stand to deal with her because I know she is testing me to study my strengths and weaknesses. Should I play ultra introvert to survive this second year? Any suggestions?
in Education by (1,000 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote

There is a lot of toxic, ritualistic "rite of passage" BS in academia that gets perpetuated. Many who make it to the top have had to scrape and scramble their way there, with little to no help, and so they think they are somehow doing you a favor by providing the same shitty environment to make sure that you've got "what it takes" to make it, rather than being a force for positive change themselves.

I'm jumping to conclusions, but that's kind of what it sounds like your advisor is doing here. While this person leads the program and is your formal advisor, hopefully you have other resources and support systems within the institution to turn to? Can you talk to other professors and formulate informal mentorships? Can you talk to alumni who have been advised by this program director? Can you lean on other peers, classmates, or administrative staff in any way to either ease the burden of the workload being thrown at you and/or to figure out a direct line of mediation with your program director?

If you feel like you can, you might even be able to just sit down with your advisor/program director and be transparent about the situation as it appears from your perspective, and ask how she would recommend handling it if she were in your shoes. She is your *advisor* after all, and she should be a support system for when you are feeling overwhelmed or lost or confused or disorganized. But whether or not she actually can be that for you is a whole separate issue.

by (41,810 points)

Good answer, Sapph.


Thanks Media. When I was in grad school I had quite a few friends in other departments who experienced very similar issues, unfortunately!

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