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  1. I have been agonizing over a decision regarding where I should pursue my PhD in theoretical chemistry. My choices are as follows: university A (US) has the best department in the world for my area of research, and my potential PI would be the perfect fit for my interests and career goals. University B (my undergraduate alma mater in the UK) also has a very good department (ranked 5th in the world), although the advisor fit would be less than ideal, since their group is mostly experimental, with only a few people working in theory. The group at university B is very large (~70 people), so the advisor is able to spend very little time with each PhD student. Both potential PIs are very renowned in their respective fields (h indexes above 60). Here comes the kicker: I am in a very committed 4-year relationship with my S/O, who is going to start a PhD at university B. He is supportive of me pursuing a PhD with my dream advisor at university A, which would involve starting a 5-year (very) long distance relationship. However, I can't help but feel selfish for putting us both through LDR hell. What would you do in this situation? Since both of us want to stay in academia long-term, I know that at some point in our relationship we will likely have to face similar choices again, so how does an academic couple balance the two-body problem for every new position they apply for? Any personal anecdotes or ways of solving this dilemma are very much appreciated. Thank you!
  2. Hello, everyone, I'm a couple years into my graduate education and would like to hear your thoughts about making friends vs. meeting colleagues in grad school. I guess the distinction I am making boils down to personal/ professional. So many people I have met have talked about how the friends they made in grad school were valuable friends for life, and this sounds great. But as most will acknowledge, there is a line between personal and professional that causes trouble when crossed. Some topics aren't appropriate to discuss with work colleagues (like other work colleagues, for a glaringly obvious example). For you, where is the line? Do you confide in your fellow grad students about grad school problems--classes, professors, advisors, exams, etc.? Or do you keep this line intact and only talk about this stuff with friends and family outside the "office" that is grad school? Thanks!
  3. So I'm new to the forums, but would like some insights from other grads. I just got an offer from PSU for their dual-title History/Women's Studies program. I am really excited about it and planning to accept the offer, but I'm nervous about what will happen with my boyfriend and I. He is doing a master's at a university in the Rockies (where we're both from) and plans to work at a specific lab in Denver once he is finished. I am hoping to get a job in the Denver-area after grad school, but in the meantime I'm not sure how we'll cope with the distance. We've been together for four years and did semi-long-distance during college (he was in WY, I was in CO), which I suppose makes us decently equipped to handle it. We are both committed to staying together so a "break" or break-up is not on the table. I just hate the idea of waiting 5-6 more years to start our life together. So my question is: does anyone have any tips on how to do a long-distance relationship during grad school (or anything to avoid)? I would appreciate any advice/insight from folks who have experience with this. Thanks!
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