grad student connections

Sat Apr 1 12:52:55 EST 1995

> > 
> Look into another lab!!  When I entered graduate school, I thought I had 
> it made--I made great progress in classes my first year, got exciting 
> preliminary data on a project that really sparked my imagination, loved 
> everyone in my lab, and was working for (I thought) a great person.  
> I even got a fellowship for 3 yrs of funding.
> Within 9 months, all hell broke loose.  Due to some very difficult 
> personal problems, my advisor became extremely difficult to deal with.  
> She was nasty, paranoid, and back-stabbing.  Last summer was truly one of 
> the most difficult times of my life.  There I was in what was otherwise 
> an ideal situation, but I was scared to death that the person I was 
> depending on to be there for me through the long haul would flip out at 
> any moment.
> After much agonizing, I finally discussed the problems with the 
> department head and graduate student contact.  They bent over backwards 
> to find someone on campus with research interests in my area that they 
> knew was stable, did good science, and treated his students well It's a 
> much better situation.  I feel like I've lost some time, and it's been 
> hard settling in because I still think about that other project, but I 
> agree with you--the environment is everything.  I don't go home dreading 
> the next morning any more!  It may not seem practical, but it could be 
> worth the effort of investigating other options.  (maybe there are some 
> at a different institution?)

I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestion to switch labs.  From my 
own experience, I think that it is *much* *better* to leave under your 
power than to be forced out of the situation, involuntarily.  Yeah, you 
most likely will lose some time, but the personal happiness makes up for 
it.  Besides, a happier grad student is a more productive grad student 
<hee hee>.  I had to switch labs about a year ago, and am *by far* in a 
much better/healthier situation--scientifically, professionally, and 
personally; so being forced out was a blessing in disguise :)  


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