My Best Friend’s Grad School Experience, So Far

My best friend finished her first semester as a grad student in microbiology this May, and whenever I talked to her she seemed stressed out. Not only did she receive a TA’ship for the school year, but in the summer she works in the lab.

Currently, she has to finish up a report on snails that has been in the making since undergrad, and her time there was horrible–I’m talking backstabbing, fights, etc among both student and faculty. Without going into details, my best friend is now getting heat from her former advisor regarding the entire report. Since she received a grant the report has to be published but her advisor is adamant about having his name on the finished product.

In addition to that crap, she’s also dealing with a “really” hard online java class this summer, which is given through UC San Diego. She says that the class is harder than she thought and since she has no background in java, this class is kind of killing her. What shocks me is that her grad advisor told her to take the class because he didn’t have any knowledge on the subject and the project that he wants her to do required this. She might change her project. And either she’s nuts or has no choice, but next semester she’s going to try and take nine credits or more. She said that her classes for Fall were going to be “pretty hard.”

Since she started grad school before me I always asked her about random things like how many books she has for class and whatnot. I’m going into mass communications so I don’t have to deal with labs or teaching, but I’m wondering if the stress level is going to be that high.

It’s interesting to hear about her experience so far, even though it’s tough and makes me feel for her all the time.


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