As a graduate student…. this one got to me.
It was real. Painfully real.
The burnout. The depression.
The loss of feeling towards something you once loved.
And yet, it was funny.A down-to-earth humor brought out in the darkest of times.
I was constantly blown away by the accuracy of Wang’s novel.
There’s so many times where I had to put the book down because I connected too much.
The way Wang conveyed all of the hope, and fear, and longing, and terror was absolutely spot on.
The whispers surrounding professors, the drama in the lab, the apathy towards life.
The paralyzing fear of failure, of complaining, of feeling weak.
I highly recommend this for the student who’s curious about what being a graduate student is like and doesn’t want a sugar coated brochure.
While not all experiences are like this, I can almost guarantee you will have days or weeks like exactly how Chemistry describes.
If there’s anything I could add, would be that life DOES get better. You are not alone.
The best person to help you is you.
Take a walk outside in greenery at least twice a week.
Find a hobby that doesn’t involve your degree.
Make good food and find someone to share it with.
Adopt a pet that gives you unconditional love.
Seek help – early and often – from labmates, friends, family, significant others, support groups and psychologists.
There’s life outside the lab and while it does feel like the end-all-be-all – it isn’t. And it never will be.
One way or another, you will survive.