Reflections on the Past Week: 12/4/16

It’s like I dream when I die I wake up
I see all the people I disrespected and try to make up

One thing that’s never really talked about when it comes to academia is the social struggle. The mental side of it all — doing research, writing publications, getting grants — is obviously very hard. And though it is still a problem that needs more mentioning/addressing, there is still a lot of people who talk/write about it. Something that’s less mentioned (or at least not as explicitly) is the psychosocial aspect of graduate school. Being around people is hard. Getting acceptance from people is nigh impossible without going insane or becoming a dick. Academia is all about gaining acceptance from people. You have to convince people that your research — and as an extension, you yourself — is worth taking on, worth disseminating, worth funding. Justifying yourself day in and day out is incredibly draining and can suck out your soul. The only real solution to this problem is to find friends, genuine people who care about you, support you, and do what they can do to help you.

The past week felt like a compression of the past month which felt like the compression of the past year which felt like the compression of the past decade. Having a disease has a physical toll but also has a psychological toll. If life is like a bus, you’re on the street watching it speed past. At best, you’re constantly running after it, trying to wave to the driver to slow down and let you on board. I watch people zoom by in life, passing me, and I get depressed. Once again, the only cure for all of this is to find good friends who can lift you out of the depression. Unfortunately, when I get depressed I become paranoid and can be a dick to the people I care about. It’s hard to confront the things which make you upset. Entering that part of the mind is like entering an unlit cave with a man eating lion; I already have a hard time navigating a room, looking for a light switch. The only way is with someone by your side, arm in hand, to help lead you out. And to ensure that, you as well have to be ready for them when they need your help. It’s about being there for them, saying sorry when you do them wrong. And there are a lot of people I need to apologize to.

TLDR: I need a dog

By thetweedybiologist

Research of theoretical ecology and evolution

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