Grad school is not always an easy ride. In fact, it can sometimes be a soul-sucking experience. But it can also be an incredibly fulfilling experience that leaves you waking up excited to head to the lab every morning (seriously!). Given my strong and somewhat contrasting views on grad school, I was very excited when my friend and colleague Atif Kukaswadia invited me to take part in a ‘blog roundtable’, he was organizing to allow graduate students to share their views on various aspects of the grad school experience. In my experience most students don’t really know what to expect from grad school, so anything that helps people understand the experience is probably a good thing.
Atif’s blog roundtable consisted of myself and a number of other graduate students responding to a list of common grad school-related questions, which he published throughout the month of November. This past Friday Atif reached the eighth and final post in the series, and in my opinion he’s created a phenomenal resource for anyone thinking about entering grad school, continuing with grad school, or even possibly quitting grad school (which, depending on the circumstances, may be a very good idea). Below are the topics that we all discussed, with links to the relevant post:
What has surprised you so far about the grad school experience? In which cases did it meet your expectations and when did it fail to do so? (i.e. How is graduate school life different to undergraduate life?)
If you have even a passing interest in grad school, then take a few minutes and read through the posts that sound most relevant to you. The posts are broken down into easily-digestible chunks, so you can get through them all rather quickly. And if you’ve already played the grad school game or have gone on to *gasp* supervise grad students, then please add your own two cents in the comments section. And if you find anything in the series of use to you personally, then please leave a comment or a tweet to thank Atif for putting it all together.