23 Things All Grad Students Know To Be True


1. When most people read novels and erotica for pleasure you will be so stoked to read a theoretical text by a star academic that supports your research thesis!

2. There will always be that one person in your seminars who talks a lot and knows all the answers and has done all the reading. On time.

3. Your gut will tell you to think about employment in other sectors as a back up so you can have marketable skills beyond close reading. LISTEN TO IT.

4. It’ll be so hard for you to resist throwing in the towel and working in finance “for a few years” to “save a lot of money” and then do what you really want to do.

5. More than one person you know who started a Ph.D. in such-and-such will end up in the Law School, coasting their way to six figures and you’ll be like damn why didn’t I think of that?

6. The highlight of your day will be when someone follows you on academia.edu!

7. You will recoil with laughter, then tears, when someone asks “how is your dissertation coming?” ASDKFAS!*(@)$

8. All of your friends make more money than you do. ALL OF THEM.

9. Your Facebook feed is nothing but a tell-all for academic peers to announce the prestigious fellowships and tenure track positions they are getting.

10. You will spend 5 hours crafting and perfecting a 250-word abstract for a journal or a conference.

11. Your entire success and future financial well-being is based on submitting successful proposals.

12. Your nipples will get hard every time you come up with a sexy title/course idea/book project!

13. You will get good at making up your own words and sounding so smart!

14. There are weeks where you do absolutely nothing followed by extreme coffee/Adderall-induced productivity.

15. Like magic you’ll be able to write four 20-page seminar papers in 2 weeks every semester but once you leave graduate school you’ll struggle to finish a single chapter revision on time.

16. No one knows what a dissertation is. It’s this thing that everyone talks about but it’s up to you to figure out what it is and how to do it.

17. Every weekend is a three-day weekend!

18. When papers are due you tell yourself you’ll definitely finish it if you go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 3am. But trust me: LOL NO!

19. You go to local conferences for the wine receptions and to international conferences for the vacations! C’mon conference grants!

20. Sometimes you’d rather just not hear back from the job than get another rejection letter telling you that 6000 people applied for this job but u just weren’t good enough to make the cut and these decisions are always difficult and best of luck bla bla bla WHERE IS THE ALCOHOL.

21. You have probably been in school every year since the first day of kindergarten. THAT IS SO MUCH SCHOOL.

22. Look at how lovely it is out today! Too bad you have to stay in the library 🙁

23. You’ll think about quitting more than once. But don’t leave until you get that degree, even if you don’t become an academic. You’ll always impress first dates and that’s gotta be worth something, right?