10 Reasons Why Being a Grad Student is Awesome
10. The schedule is flexible. The graduate school cares more about whether you do a good job than what time of the day you do it. That is, unless you’re doing a time-course experiment – then you’re at the experiment’s mercy.
9. It’s a meritocracy. To do a good job, you need to do good science.
8. My boss is a scientist.
7. You’re surrounded by nerds. I can rhapsodize about how cool carbonic anhydrase is to my fellow grads, and they’ll know what the heck I’m talking about.* They probably feel the same way about carbonic anhydrase.
6. You can spend all day surrounded by your Eppendorf tubes if you want to.
5. You get to work on a Machine. Or at least I do. The Machine I work with weighs at least 50 pounds and is controlled by a computer that runs DOS.
4. Ph.D. Comics.
3. You get to learn new things every day – you’re supposed to learn new things every day. The other day I went to a seminar given by a guy who is comparing the geographic patterns of phylogenetic diversity in senita cactus and senita moths. The best part was that I was required to go to this seminar. Learning about the latest research on senita cactus is part of my job.
2. Your research might help people someday. Check out Norman Borlaug, one of the University of Minnesota’s most famous graduates. His research on dwarf varieties of wheat started off the Green Revolution.
1. If you work hard, and you do what you’re supposed to do, eventually you get to be called “Dr. Such-and-such.”
* Carbonic anhydrase is cool because it’s ridiculously fast. It’s an enzyme that turns carbon dioxide into bicarbonate and back again in your body, and it can do this about a million times per second.