Excellent article with great advice for grad students!
This. All this.
Except #5 is difficult. Because you have to try to balance dissertation/thesis…
1. You can hold a bottle and unscrew its lid simultaneously in one hand
2. When you hear the word “media” you think of this:
3. Not this…
4. You know how to make living things glow
5. You’ve used Kimwipes as tissues, paper towels, napkins, and just about everything in between
6. You think of temperature in degrees Celsius, not Fahrenheit
It’s 90 degrees outside? That’s deadly!
8. You’re not afraid of mice or rats
9. You’ve become non-responsive to the fire alarm
Because research is so much more important than life itself, right!?
10. Coming into work at 9:00 is early
11. And leaving at 5:00 is late
12. These signs don’t scare you
13. You know how cold -80º C is
14. You sometimes have to eat lunch in just a few minutes or skip it entirely because of the timing of your experiments
15. You have arbitrarily mixed chemicals before (or have at least considered doing so)
16. When measuring liquids while cooking, you check the meniscus to ensure accuracy
17. You’ve been tempted to spray down your kitchen with ethanol
18. You never set caps face-down on a surface, like this:
19. You have an uncanny love for liquid nitrogen…
20. And for dry ice…
21. You jump for joy when you get an already-trained student into your lab…
Because it means less work for you!
22. No one understand what you do
And you gave up long ago on trying to explain it to people who will never understand…
23. This makes sense to you
24. And you can even pronounce its name
(3 R ,4 R ,10 E ,12 E ,14 S ,26 R ,26a S )-26-[[2-(diethylamino)-ethyl]sulfonyl]-8,9,14,15,24, 25,26,26a-octahydro-14-hydroxy-3-isopropyl-4,12-dimethyl-3 H 21,18-nitrilo-1 H ,22 H -pyrrolo[2,1 c ][1,8,4,19]-dioxadiazacyclotetracosine-1,7,16,22(4 H ,17 H )-tetrone.
25. You get weird looks going to work in the summer because you have to wear pants
26. And even though your research sometimes makes no progress…
27. …And your job doesn’t pay as much as you think it should…
28. …You always feel good knowing that you’re helping humanity…
29. …And deep down, you know you’d never want to do anything else
I’ve waited my whole adult life for this desk.
No zombies getting in there
I’ve seen PhD students with depression, sleep issues, eating disorders, and thoughts of suicide. Mental health in academia is an issue that needs to be addressed
I think one of the strongest things that has been impressed upon me in grad school is that if you are not miserable, you’re not doing it right. Having depression and anxiety and other mental health issues is the “right” way to be a grad student.
Labmate and I were really, really off our game today. Never doing this again, it was awful.