grad school depression
someone defended today.
this is always both a sad, and encouraging event.
it's always nice to see someone get out. (make it out alive, with degree intact, that is.) but it's also sad and frustrating to realize that one is not there yet.
with the beginning of july comes the realization that i'm now a fifth year grad student. gah. when i came i felt like i didn't even need to get to know the fifth years because they'd be gone soon. of course, that was also when i still believed the lie that the "average" time to graduate was five years. try six. maybe six and a quarter. with a significant number of seven (and a few eight) years.
i don't write much about grad school. and there's a reason for that. i hate it.
not that i hate science. in fact, i love bench work. i love figuring out problems and solutions and doing the experiments to get there. it's just the whole set-up of the program.
the idea of grad school is basically to demoralize grad students. before i started i heard someone joke about how grad school makes you paranoid. i thought (at the time): how could that possibly be true? i still wonder how it could be true. because you know what they say: it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.
granted, i work at a small research university, with few grad students, few options, little money, and poor resources. to make it worse, i'm in a (fairly) new lab. the first grad student will graduate in a few months. which will be especially sad. to lose an integral part of our lab, which is small anyway. he is someone i rely on for support: scientifically and mentally. it will be a long two years without him.
but such is life. especially life in grad school. high turnover. although it doesn't necessarily feel like that when you're the one going through the wood-chipper.