What I’ve Learned in Grad School

To celebrate surviving the first two and a half weeks of my 21st year of school, here is a post about what I’ve learned in grad school! No, this is not going to be about anything actually academic, but I love writing lists and I think all of these things are pretty funny on some level.

  1. Not only is “dissertating” a word, it’s a word that inspires envy in those of us who aren’t even thinking about comps yet.
  2. Also, “comping” is a word. And it has nothing to do with comp time.
  3. Many people go for days at a time without reading or responding to emails.
  4. A few people go for weeks at a time without responding to emails.
  5. Pretty much everyone in grad school agrees that there’s a special place in hell for the person who drinks the last of the break room coffee without starting a new pot.
  6. Having a department mailbox and checking your mailbox are two vastly different things.
  7. If you want grad students to attend (anything), you’d better have free food there.
  8. Grad students will spend an inordinate amount of time fretting about things that only they (and perhaps fifty other people in the world) care about.
  9. Hanging out with your fellow students is not only fun, it’s necessary to survive. This goes double if you’re in a PhD program.
  10. A Clif bar is a perfectly acceptable dinner when you have the 6 – 9 pm class and you’ve been at work/teaching since 7:30 am.
  11. Everything you ever read on PhD Comics is actually true.
  12. Despite all the madness and the sleep deprivation and the stress and the pressure, the chance to study exactly what you want to study – in nauseating detail – with brilliant, passionate people, is an amazing opportunity.

Love, peace, and thanks to all my fellow U of U Comm grad students for being amazing,

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