Category Archives: Grad School & Academia

Let’s Talk About Lab Safety

LabSafety_CCBlog

A few weeks ago my department held a mandatory lab safety day for all the grad students/postdocs. Overall, it was pretty uneventful. I was just happy that I had an excuse not to get any work done that day and be rewarded with free food afterwards. However, there was something that stuck out during this event that irked me, and after debating back and forth on if I wanted to discuss these thoughts… well, you’re reading this aren’t you?

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A Taxing Burden: On Being a Minority in Academia

MinorityBurden

It’s weird to be in a place that was never meant to include someone [that looks] like me.

That’s a (slightly paraphrased) quote from a conversation I had with a woman of color and graduate student, following our conversation about the state of our university’s diversity.

“Especially when you see all those pictures of old, white men hanging on the walls of some of the seminar rooms,” I replied, half-joking. After which she exclaimed that I was the first person she’s known to comment on this. Others, she’s mentioned, just didn’t really get it. Continue reading A Taxing Burden: On Being a Minority in Academia

A letter to myself about mental health

Dear Self,

You haven’t written a blog post in about 313 days. That means over 85% of the year has passed without a peep from you on here, despite the many empty promises I’ve heard you make to yourself. I thought you really loved this blog, yet you’ve essentially disappeared. But whatever. It happens.

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All About the NSF GRFP!

NSF_GRFP

Hi all!

So this year, after two previous attempts, I was finally awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! I guess third time’s really the charm, huh? Though I was going to make a similar post regardless of if I was awarded it, I thought this would be a nice way to add my own advice as to how to give this fellowship your best shot!

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The Care and Keeping of your Grad Student (Holiday Edition)

phd070210s

December has arrived which means the holidays are just around the corner! And for those of you non-academics who happen to have a grad student friend/family member, this serves as a rare opportunity for you to finally interact with them! Because it’s during this time of the year that we grad students find ourselves emerging from our lab/office caves to remind our friends and families that we still exist in the world. Happy times all around! Or so you think…

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Feeling Crispy: Burnout in (Grad) School

Burnout_CCBlog

I’ve said it once (many times, actually) and I’ll say it again: academia can be a really shitty place when it comes to your mental health. Yes, your academic adventures can result in a variety of extremely rewarding experiences–there’s no doubt about that–but when your forced to survive this high-stress environment that expects you to juggle heavy workloads, long hours and high expectations on top of the rest of your adult life… Let’s just say that even the most dedicated students can start succumbing to the pressure.

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