Things I have learned about grad school:
- Grad school is a profoundly lonely endeavor unless you’re in a track with a bunch of people doing the same thing.
- Going to extra lectures is fantastic especially when it allows you to expand your thinking in new directions – except when this means expanding the scope of research you’re already trying to narrow.
- Sometimes you’ll have a spontaneous conversation that ameliorates, if only briefly, your academic frustrations and lonelinesses.
- Sometimes you’ll get to meet very controversial and important figures in your discipline before you’ve had your morning coffee.
- Sometimes you’ll get to take courses from nationally recognized researchers doing really important work in your field.
- Sometimes you’ll sit in class on a Friday morning and feel your chest well up with pride and excitement about the field you’re studying (even if it’s not where you will end up professionally).
- And sometimes you’ll come home after a long day of lectures, work, class, the library, and more work and be so exhausted you can hardly function.
All of these have happened and/or occurred to me this week.