Send me your success stories

Dear readers of Colorblind Chemistry:

Not to suggest that posts to this blog have been especially frequent, but in the immediate future my blogging presence (here and elsewhere) will be tailing off as I finish my PhD. I hope this is a reasonable excuse, but even if it isn’t, it’s an inevitability more than anything.

That said, I do have some posts scheduled for this summer and fall that will be meant as a retrospective on my grad school experience. Some of these will be more whimsical–my “top 10 grad school pro-tips” have been brewing for a while, and I would expect the list to probably extend to “top 20” by the time I’m done. Others will be a little more realistic. Even with a reasonably successful record under my belt, grad school has kind of sucked in ways that I probably could have, and maybe should have, anticipated. Either way, I expect to close off the circle of posts started with the “grad school mental health” piece in 2012.

In the meantime, I’d like to multitask the act of filling this blog with posts and deluding myself into believing that writing my thesis is a good thing. While Chemjobber has been posting success stories for grad school dropouts, I would like to host the stories of those who touched it out and succeeded. I’m not advocating one stance over the other, but I think the juxtaposition between the two camps would be worthwhile, especially to folks who are in the position of deciding whether a PhD is worth finishing, where it can be easy for doom and gloom to shroud what is a salvageable situation. Edit: Chemjobber is already planning a series of these, please direct your stories to him (find his contact info at the link above). Read on, though:

If you are someone seeking anonymous advice, feel free to send that too, and I will attempt to facilitate that discussion discreetly for you. While I might not be in a position to answer many of those questions, sometimes you just “need an adult” and I can tell you from experience that the chem blogosphere has plenty of sympathetic ears. One of the major hurdles to jump over emotionally is to know when to ask for help, which is sometimes difficult to seek from your peers. So, if you would like to talk about your struggles and perhaps seek some advice, please email me at and I will anonymize and post here. The issue with solving grad school problems is that not everyone goes through the same ordeals and advice for one situation is seldom valid for another. I hope this will offer folks another avenue when grappling with something troublesome.

Thanks for reading for all these years, and here’s to many more once my degree is complete!