We are all aware of the fact that graduate school can end up being the most rewarding or the most disappointing experience of ones life. The best part (and perhaps the only cool part) about graduate studies is that one gets paid for studying or doing research!
All right, now let us face the harsh reality. Graduate students are the most underpaid and the most over worked section of the society. We all experience our peaks and troughs in graduate schools.
Let me correct it- as a graduate student I had to mostly deal with lows which made it harder for me to pull through and stay positive about my work and degree. I would often ask myself, does research really make sense? Am I going to change the world for better? Can my findings have an impact on the life of the people? Am I simply wasting my time and the money of the people of our society?As a graduate student have you identified yourself with the following?
- Having no time for breakfast, lunch or dinner
- No time for exercise or leisure!
- Feeling burned out
- Facing serious financial crunch
- Feeling like a lone, loony scientist who has lost touch with the world
- Feeling of being stuck and being unproductive
- Feeling of low personal accomplishment
- Having little or no socialization outside work
- Still figuring out how to multitask
- Increased workload and pressure to work under deadlines
- Unclear work expectations
- Still unsure what your students want from you and what you can do to become a good TA
- Tired of working by yourself on your project that is not going anywhere, and you are made to look stupid, your committee wants you to keep re-searching…
- Your advisor barely acknowledges your hard work and say this is not enough to graduate
- Life is out of control!
- I cannot take it anymore!
I am sure the list of frustrations in a graduate student’s life is endless. It can be the environment, the project, the supervisor, lack of social support, or simply changes in goals and ambitions in one’s life that could make graduate life stressful and questionable.
If you feel trapped in graduate school this is the page to pen down your frustrations. For those who have triumphed the hardships of graduate school please share your experiences with others so we may learn from it!