A podcast sharing the stories of humans who happen to go to graduate school. When pursuing graduate studies, we often identify ourselves as graduate students - but so often, that is only a piece of who we are. Humans of Grad School explores the lives, motivations, and inspirations of graduate students and who they are both in relation to and outside of their research.
There's no new guest this week, so I quickly monologue on why and how I've been feeling over the last couple of weeks writing my dissertation.
Lauren: Grad School Drop Out, Mental Health Prioritizer, Finder of Herself
For Lauren, doing a Master’s was not what she expected. With so many timelines up in the air, no real preparation for what a research Master’s involves, and significantly less structure, Lauren realized that she wasn’t meant to do research. After reflecting on her mental health and priorities for herself, she left grad school, and became a nurse. Little did she know that the majority of her nursing career (thus far) would be caring in a pandemic, where her care for COVID patients has helped her understand that her experience in grad school taught her many lessons that has led her to where she wants to be.
Sarah: Redirector of Rejections, Believer of Timing, Person of Contrast
On her journey to becoming an occupational therapist, Sarah learned how to embrace and trust life's timing. Rejection from Canadian universities created an opportunity for redirection - including a plane ride over to Scotland. Looking back on her time in graduate school, Sarah can now see the lessons she's learned, the real life application of skills shared between her research and clinical worlds, the impact of the people and places (and sometimes spiders) around her, and how it's all shaped her to be the person of contrast she is today.
Jeremy: Storyteller and Story Reader, Pivoting Self-Discoverer, Wrestler of the Grey
TW: Mentions of depression, anxiety, suicide
Jeremy was going to be a professional wrestler. The kind you see on TV - jumping from the ropes, on top of ladders, or using fold-up chairs and circuitboards as weapons. He realized that maybe this isn’t the kind of wrestling he was meant to do. As someone who thrives in the grey spaces of our lives, Jeremy’s new love became adolescent literature, specifically focusing on mental health and being a productive member of a capitalist society. Through his story reading, storytelling, and teaching on the power of stories, he hopes to continue to help others find the stories they were meant to read.
Shannon: Lifelong Learner, Critical Questioner, Embodied Thinker
Shannon never wanted to go to university - she wanted to be a ballerina. But after she sustaining an injury, everything flipped. In university, she realized that people were more interested in her thoughts and opinions than what she was expressing or doing with her body. This realization awakened her love of learning, and Shannon became involved in Student Life, knowing the value of being a student leader. However, she also learned that others’ perceptions of student “value” differs. What happens when value is only assigned based on your ability to work? And what does that mean for life beyond student life? Shannon’s working on understanding “work” and what it means to be someone who is holistic, embodied, and more than their ability to do work.
Maisha: Med School Rejector, Friendship Fosterer, Truster of the Universe
Like many of her friends, Maisha wanted to go to medical school. The first time she got rejected, she didn’t think much of it – it was a practice round. But by the time her second round of applications started getting rejected, she took a different path. Going to grad school, at first, was really difficult – being in an environment that wasn’t good for her, and not knowing anyone had her questioning her decision. But after sticking to her morals and trusting the universe, she switched supervisors, and has now come to the realization that the work she’s currently doing is what she was meant to do – and she’s so excited to keep fostering new friends and networks along the way.