Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

Materials Girl: Life beyond academia

Mortality is not a concept that many young scholars are in the habit of considering. Indeed, students tend to pay little thought to their health within a frequently frenetic, sleep-deprived, caffeine-powered existence of procrastination and salty ramen (or are those tears?). Self-care was not an issue that I focused on during grad school, or even in the following year of post-graduation burnout. Sure, I dropped 15 lbs in two weeks while preparing for quals — however, starvation, 20 hour workdays and anxiety attacks are neither a healthy nor sustainable lifestyle (and needless to say, that weight came right back)… Only in retrospect have I realized the depth to which I was depressed, hyper-stressed, and overly isolated in The Dungeon – meanwhile medical specialists wondered why my health was so  poor for a normal-looking student in her early/mid 20’s. 

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