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lemma last won the day on December 12 2017

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  1. My relationship with my supervisor feels very up and down, and it's hard to separate that from whether I'm critically behind on my work. Not feeling the best about it all.
  2. My biggest piece of advice would be to take on less than what you think you can handle. It looks much worse to step down from a commitment than to not take it on in the first place. Unfortunately I've had to do just that, which is also another source of anxiety in itself.
  3. Ivy degrees are often regarded as being valuable because of the strong alumni networks. I will say, however, that there is a hierarchy. At least at my undergrad, students in the college felt next to no connection with the graduate/professional schools, and many openly stated that they thought the terminal masters students in most areas weren't subject to the same academic rigor in either the coursework or the admissions process. It's elitist, but that's just how it was. I can see alumni of the college being most willing to talk to graduates from the college, followed by the law and medical sch
  4. Feeling a bit depressed and not very optimistic about the future.
  5. Yeah, bipolar 1/anxiety/likely OCD here. I took time off during undergrad because of hospital stays, but no one been asked about it my grad applications. I ended up accepting at a place at a good university which is exceptional in my department (top 10). I am genuinely enjoying my PhD here. However, I still hurt a bit when I see my peers who had lower grades than me going to brand name universities like our undergrad. I only applied to programs geographically close to my parents and partner to try and avoid relapse, and though I know I made the right call, it's hard to be reminded of what
  6. Have you considered non-US departments? Without intending to insult any Americans here (some of my best friends are American), the US tends to be more individualistic and competitive than almost every other country out there. There are some strong physics universities outside the US (especially in the UK, Europe, Australia and Canada) where the culture might be more mellow.
  7. My research trajectory for the next few years is finally coming together. Excited!
  8. I wanted to add: if termination is likely, be honest with the student and get them to resign ASAP. Termination does come up in background checks for future jobs.
  9. Would it be appropriate to suggest he leaves and comes back to a lab once he has some more academic experience under his belt? I think leaving now with an explanation to the PI about how he doesn't have the skills yet is a much better option than termination. However, it also isn't fair on you or the PI to spend resources getting him up to speed as that comes at a cost. I worry that if he is terminated, it will do a lot of harm to his self esteem and enjoyment of STEM. I would be gutted in his position.
  10. I would have a frank talk to him (though leave out the risk of being fired). If he's struggling a lot, he's probably not having fun. And maybe he's just terrible in a wet lab! It doesn't mean that he would be terrible as a doctor, in a computational setting or doing something more biomedical engineering related. And he should know that there are other options, and just because he doesn't have a good intuition for this project doesn't mean he can't be a good scientist.
  11. What sort out outputs do you try and bring on a weekly/fortnightly basis? What generally are the expectations in terms of how much you have accomplished?
  12. Congrats on getting the schizophrenia under control and working hard on your health! I have a condition with some shared symptoms, and I elected to not tell my supervisors, but I did register with the disability office. I also had to take time off during undergrad due to some major episodes, and am also doing much better these days, but I knew that doing nothing wasn't an option, because if I relapsed I wouldn't be in a state to organize accommodations. I have had a really good experience with the disability office, and I recommend seeking them out and getting registered. They can act on
  13. Yep, I got 170 on both the quantitative and verbal sections first time. I took the exam during spring break my junior year, and had the first week of spring break to study. In reality, I found that I didn't need to prepare for the quant section coming from a STEM major: once I knew what the question style was, the rest followed. I don't have a very good vocabulary though, so used the Magoosh flashcard app and that helped a lot. I also used the 5lb Manhattan Prep book to study for the verbal section. I had very limited income during my undergrad, so I was really hoping that I could
  14. Those would be fine to me. I complement people on their new haircuts or clothes all the time (and to a broad spectrum of people so it's pretty obvious there's nothing more to it), as well as comment on other things like nice photos they put on Facebook or non-academic writing that they've shown me. I do it because I like to try and help people feel good about themselves, and I'm sure that the hypothetical professor could have been doing just that. But the wink and the "on you" would have really thrown me. Even just reading that makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.
  15. Keep it short and simple. Any thank yous can be done in person or in a thank you card. The resignation letter is effectively a legal document. Hand it to your boss in person - email would be inappropriate in my opinion. Arrange to meet privately (book in a time), resign, and give him the hard-copy letter. Follow up with the resignation letter attached to an email, and cc HR if your company has a HR.
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