You know you’re a grad student when…

1. A three day weekend = catch-up lab time.

2. You reason against showering because no one outside of lab will see you that day.

3. You get up at 5:30 AM to get out of lab by 8:00 PM.

4. Your calendar is planned around all the free food activities on campus.

5. You got really excited about new data and a week later saw all of it in a newly published journal article, i.e. YOU GOT SCOOPED!

6. Bleach spots dot your clothing.

7. There are even more holes than bleach spots in your clothing.

8. You hear the word “cell” on the street and have flashbacks to every graduate class you’ve taken.

9. The instructor specifically said there would be no derivations on the exam. Then you get to #3.

10. Pandora is your bff.

11. When someone on the street asks you what you do, you freak out and don’t know how to answer.

12. When someone in science asks you what you do, you recite your lab-life-story to them, complete with figures and interpretive dance.

13. Mentor = Darth Vader, both as the parental figure and as the dark lord.

DISCLAIMER – does not apply to me personally 😉

14. No one outside of science gets your jokes.

15. You still wear clothes from high school.

16. You never used to drink this often . . .

17. The barista at Starbucks knows you on a first name/project topic basis.

18. You hide the fact you frequent Starbucks from the coffee-snob post-doc in your lab.

19. You get to use sexual innuendos as actual lab procedures. For example: Sex larva, collect virgins, detect binding promiscuity, breeding . . . the list really does go on and on.

20. [Experimental] Failure is, in fact, an option. But still has meaning.

21. Watching CSI, NCIS and any other TV show that uses “science” makes you simultaneously angry and jealous at the speed at which their assays are completed.

22. Someone says poster and you immediately ask “Oh, what conference did you go to?”

23. You watch Big Bang Theory and relate to every single character.

24. When someone makes you mad, you wish antibacterial resistant tuberculosis upon them. (This could just be me, though.)

25. Your family doesn’t quite get that you won’t be a “real” doctor and therefore can’t diagnose:

  • The strange discoloration on your sister’s cheek.
  • Your mother’s hip pain.
  • The fact that your aunt’s dog is sneezing.

This list is not inclusive, exhaustive, or in any way accurate. I would argue, however, that if you can relate to at least three of these examples, you might just be a grad student. Cheers!


3 responses to “You know you’re a grad student when…

  1. 26. When spending less than four hours in lab on a Sunday is considered a weekend and less than two hours is practically a day off.

  2. Great list! It won’t change much when you reach your post doc or faculty years, except the part of about Starbucks when I became an enabler and occasionally provide coffee as a ‘perk’ in exchange for data!

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