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24 Deep Struggles Of A Grad Student In The Humanities

How can I write a paper that's only *10* pages???

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1. When your relatives ask why you're devoting years to being knee-deep in texts:

2. You can't remember the last time you actually had to do math.

3. Your biggest nightmare is having to write a paper that's UNDER 10 pages.

But... how will I say everything I need to say??

4. You study something so specific and esoteric you can only talk about with two other people in the world.


5. Your flirting techniques consist of outlining your prospectus in a sexy voice.

"Hey girl, what do YOU think about landscape in the art of Arshile Gorky, Pavel Tchelitchew, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi during World War II?"

6. All of your paper titles have colons. ALL OF THEM.

7. When you mention your friend in law school or med school, your mom says, "Well, at least SHE'LL be able to pay off her student loans when she's done."

8. Your sense of humor now consists of jokes like, "Semiotics? More like semi-NOTics!"


9. You everyday at 4 p.m.:


10. You're secretly worried you've become THAT person in seminar who won't stop talking.

11. Your diet has reverted back to what you ate as a child.

12. Spending more time on JSTOR than on personal hygiene.


13. Having to personally hunt down someone who you KNEW had a book checked out that you wanted.

14. You once nervously approached a celebrity and asked him to take a photo with you. It was Philip Roth.

15. You give everyone in your TA section a B+ on their gender constructs essays.

16. You can't remember the last time you understood science, but you CAN throw down on Hegel vs. Schopenhauer.


17. Your mom gets confused by your emails because you add footnotes.

18. When the professor doesn't show up to class, people discuss the readings anyway.

19. At least one of your friends (or you) has gotten very into pipe-smoking. Unironically.

20. No one outside the academy *really* understands what you do all day, and sometimes it's frustrating.

YES, this is a real job.


21. You can't remember the last time you read a book for fun, although sometimes you get a weird kick out of Being and Nothingness.

22. You've started just admitting to your advisor that yes, you have a new draft, but it sucks.

23. Seeing someone you know at the photocopy row in the library counts as socializing.

24. Brushing people off who ask, "So how are you going to get a job after all this?"

Because you're totally sure. Like 95% sure. Well, partially sure. Maybe?