“I will not be able to complete my graduate studies, I am very dumb”, a sad and gloomy face of my lab mate popped up as I saw her rising across from her chair. “I even don’t comprehend the fundamentals of my work and my “simple” experiments fail miserably” continued the explanation. There was sense of dejection as the fear of her PhD work rose over her. “You have lots of data and you are going good in PhD” my voice rose as I saw clear signs of despondency on her face. If this sounds usual to you, probably you are graduate student. Popularly known as “Impostor’s syndrome”, it grips many graduate students over the course of PhD life. Surprisingly, there is lot range of so called “graduate student life metrics” on which your colleagues and even professors will judge you, be it publications, travel grants, conference awards. The pressure to cope up with these metrics mostly puts the life of a graduate student at stake. One of the worst and fatal mistake that most often leaves students dwell into this is the comparison of these metrics with other people. This feeling is further substantiated in top notch institute where people may feel “inferior” to other colleagues and see people dropping out or lagging in the race of “selfobsessed” metrics.
by Haaris Ahsan Safdari, PhD student (Pre-Doctoral Fellow)
Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru- 560012, India