Lana’s written a great post on being happy in graduate school. I’m glad she’s written it and one of the reasons I wanted to share it was because I think its great advice. I also wanted to comment on negotiating with her advisor on work-life balance. Takes courage. As an advisor sometimes I’ve tried to front load these conversations. A wedding is an obvious example where you can tell that the work-life balance is going to change, at least temporarily. I’ve tried to be upfront about recognizing that. I don’t know whether it has ever come off as seeming like I’m crossing the professional-personal boundary, but my only intent was to reduce the complexity of asking the advisor for “time off” since I know its harder for a graduate student to ask their advisor the same question.
I’d take other approaches to solving the difficulty of approaching the advisor about work-life balance questions, but that’s the one I’ve settled on, at least for those sorts of events.