To Be Or Not to Be: Graduate Student Edition

PhD Comics - Women of Valor

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous grad school,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To quit: to sleep
Once more; and by to quit to say we end
The headaches and the thousand natural shocks
Grad students are heir to, ’tis a commencement
Devoutly to be wish’d. To quit, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in the postdoc’s sleep what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off these mental coils,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long a program;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The professor’s wrong, the classmate’s proud arrogance,
The pages of despised work, the IRB’s delay,
The insolence of undergrads and the spurns
That hit the teaching assistant undeserving
When he himself might his quick exit make
From servitude’s despair? Who would prelims bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after academe,
In that undiscover’d country from whose bourn
So few return, puzzles us still
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus thinking does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.
And research projects of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

To PhD or Not to PhD, by Jorge Cham

Note: I wrote this last April, thinking it was my idea. But I later realized that I’d previously seen the idea in Jorge’s older PhD comics, and must have subconsciously copied this. My apologies for the inadvertent plagiarism… and i hope that my phrasing remains my own. And Shakespeare’s. And probably, Jorge’s.

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