I won’t bore you with the details of being a grad student in science. I will tell you, however, that most days are crap. The rest of the days are miserable and depressing. The best day of grad school is the day you successfully defend your thesis. Of course, the moment you defend your thesis, you are no longer considered a student so I guess there really is no good day to be a grad student.
But finishing grad school isn’t the end of gloom. Oh no…
You see, academia is like a bottomless pit. Grad school is somewhere near the top of this pit. There is still light from above the pit that is visible. It’s after grad school that this light also diminishes. Perhaps after one gets tenure the pit has some artificial illumination that keeps one sustained for a small period of time. This illumination flickers when it comes time to write a grant. If the grant gets rejected, the lights go out again.
If you are an undergrad reading this, and have even the slightest bit of self-esteem, don’t go into grad school (to do a PhD that is, a master’s is fine). If you are a fellow grad student, don’t go into academia. I can still see light. I am waiting for the rope to pull me out of this pit! 😛
Not that I don’t have fun outside of lab… I’m just not supposed to admit that I even have a life outside of lab (however short of a duration it may last for) Someday I will be able to admit I have a life outside of work and not feel guilty about it. Then I can show the ivory tower my middle finger.