It’s Ok To Be Unhappy In Grad School

It’s ok to be unhappy in grad school.

It’s ok not to do all the reading.

It’s ok to look outside of your department/coursework/colleagues for validation, inspiration, and a sense of self-worth.

It’s ok to be bored by your coursework.

It’s ok not to like the students you’re teaching.

It’s ok to hate the textbook/curriculum/assignments that you’re required to use in your classroom.

It’s ok to feel threatened by your colleagues.

It’s ok not to like people in your cohort.

It’s ok to question why you ever thought a PhD was a good idea.

It’s ok not to like your professors/your committee/your dissertation chair.

It’s ok not to turn every seminar paper into an article for publication.

It’s ok to be rejected by that journal/conference/research group.

It’s ok to resent the long hours and the crap offices and the terrible money.

It’s ok to be unhappy in grad school. Don’t beat yourself up about feeling like shit. Embrace it. Admit it. Talk about it with somebody you trust: a colleague or a counselor or your best friend back in Poughkeepsie.

Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Turn around, face it, and punch that fucker in the nose. Take pleasure where you find it, when you can, and acknowledge the unhappy when it creeps back in.

The more light you shine on it, the more mirrors you force the unhappy to face, the harder it’ll be for it to sneak up and shiv you in the middle of a seminar, or in your advisor’s office, or over your keyboard when you’re trying to get shit done.

It’s ok to be unhappy in grad school. Just don’t do it alone.

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