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I've read quite a few threads in this topic and many seem to be from very unhappy, lonely grad students. Are there any happy ones out there? Is anyone glad they took the plunge and moved across the country to work your tail off?

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Well, I didn't move across the country -- only applied locally -- but I am happy. Still can't believe I am doing this and have no regrets, even when it gets stressful (which it does . . . ).

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I didn't move across the country either, but I'd say I'm very happy. Really no where else I'd rather be- good cohort, interesting research, decent funding, and I really enjoy the "academic life".

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Many, if not most, posts on these forums are from people looking for advice -- and people look for advice when they're miserable, not when everything's going right. Everyone has low points from time to time, and that's probably when they're most active (look at the explosion of neuroses during the height of application season, myself included). So I would take the forums with a grain of salt when asking whether they reflect the average grad student.

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Many, if not most, posts on these forums are from people looking for advice -- and people look for advice when they're miserable, not when everything's going right. Everyone has low points from time to time, and that's probably when they're most active (look at the explosion of neuroses during the height of application season, myself included). So I would take the forums with a grain of salt when asking whether they reflect the average grad student.

Thank you for saying this.

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amclayton, I noticed this same trend last year, posed the question, and got some great responses:

Reply #3 links back to an even more extended thread where many peeps attest to loving grad school, and feel it's really the place for them right now.

For my part (I'm in my first year), I am in the midst of finals this week at present; the number of MAJOR projects, papers, pres'ns etc. due is dizzying and relentless. However, I made the choice to overload on courses this term, so I know it's largely my own doing, and I still feel this was an excellent move on all levels. B)

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amclayton, I noticed this same trend last year, posed the question, and got some great responses:

Reply #3 links back to an even more extended thread where many peeps attest to loving grad school, and feel it's really the place for them right now.

For my part (I'm in my first year), I am in the midst of finals this week at present; the number of MAJOR projects, papers, pres'ns etc. due is dizzying and relentless. However, I made the choice to overload on courses this term, so I know it's largely my own doing, and I still feel this was an excellent move on all levels. B)

I read each comment on each thread, and I feel extremely encouraged. I know all programs are diff as are the people in them, but knowing not everyone has a miserable experience makes me look forward to my own a lot more. Thank you!

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amclayton--

Some of the best guidance I have received from a professor is to do one's best to maintain an even keel. What he meant was not to let the lows be too low or the highs be too high. My interpretation of the even keel is a bit different--I'm (not) bitter all the fracking time.

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Thanks for starting this thread! I just accepted an offer and am very excited...but when I think about the start of school my heart starts pounding. I think I've been so focused on getting into a program that the whole "do well in grad school" thing has been out of my mind. Anyway, the comments definitely help...thanks!

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I've read quite a few threads in this topic and many seem to be from very unhappy, lonely grad students. Are there any happy ones out there? Is anyone glad they took the plunge and moved across the country to work your tail off?

Count me among the happy ones! I'm 75% finished my PhD, and although there have been some tough, draining times, I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I have a good relationship with my supervisor, am surrounded by supportive peers, and I know that when I officially become Dr. Andsowego ;) all the hard work will have been well worth it. Have no fear, it is possible to be both academically challenged and personally happy at the same time, even when the challenges are significant.

edited to add: Just fyi, my "move" to grad school was 5000km one direction. (3000miles).

Edited by Andsowego
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I'm happy. I live in an interesting city, I have a comfortable stipend, I'm working on problems I really like and I can see myself developing into a more independent scholar, capable of maintaining my own research agenda. I'm still passionate about my research, and I'm looking forward to doing a postdoctoral fellowship in about a year and a half's time (I should be finishing up by this time next year).

I do have bouts of unhappiness, but I don't think any more than any other young professional (they're pretty standard things: relationship issues, occasionally identity crises, etc.) It was worse when I was still in my classwork, though, and I did have a stretch of rather serious depression. I also think I have some seasonal depression, so I'm much happier now that it's warmer and sunnier. I get kind of miserable during the winter.

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I'm definitely happy in my PhD program! My life has really blossomed with academia and the student body is fantastic. I was worried that I would move all the way across the country and would feel alienated or overly burdened and stressed. Quite the opposite has happened! Although my sleep has suffered, my social life has not. My classes are engaging, the professors are intelligent, and approachable. The program is very collaborative and supportive. Most of the graduate students are stressed to normal levels, but nothing outlandish. I've been able to approach the program director and other professors that aren't my direct mentors for counsel in lab decisions and they all have been very eager to help. Of course some classes and some lectures are hit and miss, and the workload can be crazy, but in general, I'm really happy with picking the program I did.

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I moved about 1700 miles from New Hampshire to Florida for my masters program. It was definitely an intimidating process (I was only 21, so that might have added to it), but I think it is well worth it in the long run. The work load usually keeps you so busy that you don't have much time to think about being lonely. My department was made up of people who were already from the area and already had established social networks. My university has a graduate student association that sets up mixers for grad students from all departments, so I met most of my friends at those. It's good not to be afraid to go to things alone. Three semesters later, I'm incredibly happy with my decision. I've learned about a different area of the U.S., forced myself to experience things I might not have if I'd stayed in my New England comfort zone. There are ups and downs, but they always balance out. Now I'm getting ready to potentially do it again for a phd program....although maybe some people will think I'm crazy to do it multiple times. :)

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