by Mavra Nasir and Ted Mellors **Blog Competition**
The authors would like to acknowledge that there is a conflict on the order of author list. Neither party wants to take credit for this piece of work.
Nasir: Andy Dufresne had to crawl through five-hundred yards of sewer pipe in order to escape from Shawshank prison. Finishing up my fourth year of graduate school, I think I might be stuck halfway through that pipe.
I came to graduate school because I love asking questions. No amount of chocolate in the world could silence the “why’s?” that rolled off my tongue faster than one can imagine, and believe me, my parents tried. I can’t recall what I was expecting graduate school to be like, but it certainly wasn’t this. I have learnt a few things along the way, so I wanted to provide a survival guide for the brave unfortunate souls considering this feat:
- Not all PhD’s are created equal. Accept it.
- You may think your insight is always appreciated. It really isn’t. Try changing the tone.
- Nobody is trying to steal your ideas. Period.
- If you are running experiments 24/7, you are doing something wrong.
- Listen to your mentor.
At this point, you are probably expecting me to make a cheesy hopeful remark. What I do know, is that if you stick with it, you are going to learn a lot. That is one thing I cannot dispute. Graduate school has been hard, but the beauty of a ‘you-just-left-me-speechless’ question, and a simple experiment as an answer, might just be worth it all. After all, Andy Dufresne did get out.
Mellors: You can’t. *Bottoms-up*