Grad School, Tips

Assorted Stereotypes About Grads

Some people perceive millennials as a generation of spoiled coffee-drinking infantile youngsters with hyper-extended childhood who take about 30 years to ‘find themselves’ only to find themselves working as baristas while pretending to be engaged in ‘vaguely creative activities’.   Misconceptions about graduate students, especially the ones in humanities go even further.

Just for laughs – here are some stereotypes about graduate students that my fellow grad-school mates and I have heard:

Graduate students ___

  • are trying to extend their childhood into their 30’s
  • are not ready to face the ‘real world’
  • use light illegal substances on regular basis
  • are trying to put away major life decision out of emotional immaturity
  • are incapable of creating serious relationships
  • are selfish by definition (as in “you would not go to grad school if you cared about anything else)
  • stay unemployed into their 30’s
  • drink way too much coffee
  • are either vegans, OR junk-food monsters (or even vegan-junk-food monsters)
  • are antisocial OR too social, to the determent of their academic careers
  • are too promiscuous OR celibate (with nothing in-between these extremes)

… the list can go on, but let’s look at some assumptions that are sometimes made about women in graduate school:

Women in graduate school ________

  • are all tomboys (with a negative connotation)
  • have low chances of getting into long-term relationships
  • don’t care about creating families
  • have hard time socially adjusting in male-dominated academic departments

… again, the list can go on

BUT as millennials, we are also resilient, ambitions and determined to succeed in whatever that is we do :).

So instead of taking offence at any of the listed stereotypes that may linger in our society – as some young people do – we can either debunk those myths, or laugh at ourselves for consciously or unconsciously reinforcing them.  Grad-school is a lifestyle that some of us chose to lead for 1-7 years (depending on your program), so, let’s not take ourselves too seriously, embrace our life-style choice and discuss things like creativity, relationships, and other relevant topics (but – in the next posts :))

What kind of stereotypes about graduate students have you heard?

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