• Becca Dzombak

Thankful for: my grad school friends

This semester is nearly almost over. Not quite almost over, but… nearly. I’m into my third year – halfway through my PhD if all goes well – and I’m feeling it, as are my cohort-mates. I’ve been teaching and taking a class, as well as working with two undergrads in lab. (Who I love!) But it’s been really busy, and research has taken a back seat. I expected as much and planned for it, but I’m definitely looking forward to next semester: four months unencumbered by classes, wide open for labwork and writing and a little sampling trip to New York.


With all this in mind, on this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my grad school friends who keep me sane, and who I can help keep sane as well. We remind each other that it’s important to step back and remember that grad school is just a job. We love what we do (most of us, on most days…) and so it’s easy to dive headfirst into 60-hour workweeks and put on blinders towards the rest of life. So spending a weekend at Lake Michigan with a dozen grad students, getting out of Ann Arbor and hunkering down in the snow for a couple days without work, was a welcome retreat and reminder of how important work-life balance is.

I’m sitting in a hotel in Pittsburgh looking out at the bridges and cold rivers, getting ready to spend two days with my family. I’m relaxed and with people I love, and that’s more important than any deadline.


Happy Thanksgiving!


PS. Is it weird that we still celebrate Thanksgiving? It’s basically the arrival of genocide and disease and imperialism… but… pie! Anyway.

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