The Graduate Student and Living on the Margins of Society

Graduate students often feel isolated. On one hand, Professionals treat them as “just students”. On the other, undergraduates look at them as old people. This makes the graduate community feel like it does not belong anywhere but itself. On several occasions, being someone who has come back to school from the industry, I had friends […]

Graduate Students and the 20-Hour Contract

Graduate funding often comes in the form of 20-hour graduate assistantship contracts. The contract could be in form of teaching assistantship (GTA), where the student helps by grading homework, holding office hours, and sometimes giving a few lectures. It could also be for research assistantship (GRA). I have noticed that both of these formats have […]

Graduate Students and Fitness

I take working out seriously as a daily supplement to my physical and mental health. First thing I do after waking up early every weekday is to hit the gym. It was difficult at the beginning, but I owe to this habit the sense of anchorage it provides me for the rest of the day. […]

Favoring Research over Teaching

It has become clear to me that graduate school predominantly focuses on research, and treats class teaching as an errand that is more of a chore than a goal. In fact, the first advice I had received from an established professor in my first week of school was to do just good enough for my […]

Graduate Students and Funding

A graduate student’s lifestyle is largely determined by their limited funds. Poverty and PhD are almost synonymous terms. I have been lucky to hold a graduate research assistance position at a well funded department. But, I had not realized how bad it could be until I received emails from the Graduate School about supplies for […]

Society’s Valuation of Education

I often wonder about the value of education. While I was growing up, my family constantly emphasized how important education is. My dad used to say that education is the most important investment you could make. My mom used to put teaching me English above everything else because she believe it is the key to […]

Who Leads YOUR Graduate Studies?

I have been thinking lately about what it means to be a graduate student. When I was younger, I had this glorious image of myself pursuing a PhD. I imagined investigating my own interesting scientific hypotheses. I had in mind people like Einstein and Bohr, thinking outside the box and defying the conventional frameworks prevalent […]

The Struggle of the International Student in Graduate School

While a graduate student’s life is generally filled with stress, financial challenges, and lack of supporting services; the international student has to deal with several extra layers of hardship and insecurities. What makes it worse is the ambivalence they experience towards their situation from the rest of the population, including their fellow national students. This […]