Surviving but Isolated

Semi-finalist 2024

This is an authentic looking desk space. This depicts the challenges managing competing demands exhibited by our participants.
Submitted by:Nicole Moore
Department:Occupational Therapy
Faculty:Rehabilitative Medicine

Our research is on first year graduate students within the rehabilitation medicine faculty focuses on their self-perceptions of their own occupational performance. Occupational performance refers to how well people are able to do the things they need and want to do. My research group consists of four second year MScOT students. We are currently in our study’s data analysis stage. Our preliminary findings suggest that most new graduate students are living in a chronic state of feeling that they have not done enough each day, despite appearing highly successful in their programs. Our literature review which primarily focused on transitions from high school to undergraduate education, demonstrated that experiencing academic transitions is a risk factor for heighted stress and role conflicts (McPherson et al., 2017; Park et al., 2021). The transition from undergrad to postgrad studies reflects a significant amplification of skills and often accompanies a higher workload and higher intellectual demands with less direction from staff (McPherson et al., 2007). Our group wanted to better understand the occupational concerns for this population and advocate for adding supports that would better enable them to manage role strain and daily stresses of being a graduate student. Our submission image depicts the stress and overwhelm associated with the gradate student role.

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How was your image created?
This image was created on Nicole’s iPhone 14 Pro Max, version iOS 17.3.1. Amy took this photo I modeled for after we arranged the scene and discussed composition.