graduate school musings from baby grad students

Well, we’ve had our first cold snap of the year!

Thanks, weather.com.

Thanks for mocking me, weather.com.

But now that the weather has calibrated itself out to a very pleasant, sunny and crisp approximation of “autumn,” I guess I’m free to talk about something else.

Two years ago, I was an senior in college. And two years doesn’t seem like a very long time, but there is some sort of monumental shift that happens at the beginning of graduate school that makes a grad student fundamentally and totally different from the scores of undergrads surrounding him on campus.

(And I’m not just talking about the various opportunities to get free beer. Seriously, if you want free beer, grad school is where it’s at.)

So here are some of the things that I and my fellow new grad students have come up with that separate us from the undergrads we used to be:

-When walking down Greek row to get to campus, we don’t care at all how cute we look.

-When attending a predominantly-undergrad lecture, we don’t care at all how cute we look.

-You can’t find an appropriate response when an undergrad asks “What’s your major?”

-You know that the only appropriate way to start a conversation with a new acquaintance is not “What do you study?” or “What year are you,” but rather “So… what are you doing…?” because there is no guarantee that they are actually a student. [The best variation of this I’ve heard was from the director of my program, who reportedly had a student ask him, “What’s your deal?”]

-You don’t have much money, but at least you’re probably not in staggering debt.

-You don’t have class on Fridays and it’s the best thing ever!

-Your undergrad illusions are shattered when you find out that your TAs didn’t really know much more than you did.

-While at a party, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that, upon hearing that you have never read The Lord of the Rings, your friend will go to retrieve his boxed set and lend them to you, and then you have to carry around a boxed set of books all night while also knowing that you probably will never have time to read them.

-Everyone leaves the party before or around midnight.

-“We’re graduate students… we’re all a little bit crazy!”

Two weeks down, who knows how many to go?

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6 thoughts on “graduate school musings from baby grad students

  1. Enjoy the fall! You know what comes next!! Sounds like you are getting along with grad school and it will be over in the flash of a light. Have fun and don’t worry about the snow. It will be gone by Spring.

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