Skip to content

Soliloquy of a Graduate Student

I opened Pandora’s box today. While idling in traffic, curiosity struck me out of the blue. I’ve been keeping online journals since 1997, give or take, stretched across 4 or so sites. Would any still be active?

The answer: my undergrad journal is no longer with us, but my grad school journal DOES exist, on the public internet (if you know where to find it, and no I’m not telling). You wouldn’t want to read it anyway – I had forgotten how painfully emo I was when dealing with the stress of grad school and my clinical depression.

However, THIS post made me smile – so frustrated was I with my grad school experience, I blatantly “borrowed” Shakespeare to vent. It’s a good reminder to me that all was not unicorns and roses (no, not even with Randy around).

So, for your reading pleasure (whether you laugh with me or at me), I present: the soliloquy of a graduate student.

[Disclaimer: I haven’t edited this at all. And I’m sure I broke pentameter in a few places; my Shakespearean education is shockingly lacking.]

To stay or not to stay, that is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous advisors
or take arms against a sea of studies
and by opposing, leave them? To leave: to work;
Full-time; and by a job to say we end
The heartache and the thousand unnatural demands
That students are heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To leave, for work;
To work, perchance to profit: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that work of industry what times may come
When company has shuffled off this moral coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of economy
For who would bear the whips and scorns of advisors,
The professors’s wrong, the uneducated’s contumely,
The pangs of exhaustion, the thesis’ delay,
The insolence of library and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To live and work under a productive job,
But that the dread of something after study,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
Few traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to jobs that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great worth and respect,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of employment.