[Posted on behalf of Materials Girl]
Skimming through some of my first posts as a graduate student, I noticed that I’m really whiny! For example, there’s the entry on writing fellowship applications: I gripe about physics, grades, writing personal statements, and generally having to work hard. Ah, youthful innocence – or shall I say, stress without merit. Thing is, I wasn’t even working hard compared to what I’m doing now (mostly in regards to research). Last fall, I spent months just to write a few essays and fill out application forms. This year, I’ve already done half the work in a week, and it is of higher quality. I think it’s part of the adaptation process for grad school. I’ve learned to work harder and faster, instead of wasting time feeling sorry for myself and ruing my ever-increasing workload. Well, I still do that – and more often than I’d like to admit. However, I’m trying to keep negativity to myself and channel my energy into being useful, even when it feels like I have zero energy to spend. Besides, if I push through and get STUFF done, I won’t have anything to whine about (and I won’t have to feel guilty for those hours spent on Hulu).
Grad school is teaching me everything that life asks for, even if I’m still in a little bubble away from the real world. Not only am I gaining academic knowledge and technical skills, but also how to best use them. That’s what school is for, right?
P.S.: My advisor finally started paying me! He also asked me to stay for a PhD, but I’d much rather pursue my doctorate in an exotic country far, far away. Or NorCal. (I hear the population at Berkeley is weird, whacky, and wonderful!)