Grad Students and Misery
Yesterday, I was talking to one of my friends in the Law Cafe about life after graduation, and he was quite miserable. Said he had never had fewer friends than while at law school. Another guy told my girlfriend the same thing later that day. I hear a week ago from one of my other friends, that a guy in our fraternity who went to med school is now so lonely that he got a dog. Last year, one of the guys I roomed with had not been on a date in over a year and a half. What is it with grad students? Why are we as a group so miserable?
For me, I have only felt this in part. Those of you at SLS know I have been dating the same girl for the last year, and that the two of us go out quite a bit. Even so, I feel a bit of the loneliness that is talked about so frequently. I don't have nearly as many friends as in undergrad, my life seems to be at a crossroads, and everybody I know is suddenly very, very, serious. This was definitaly not true when I was in Undergrad, especially with some of the guys in my fraternity
I think what makes us so unhappy is that we are at a point of decision. College is a time for unlimited expectations and optimism, law school (and other graduate programs) are about the looming reality and limitations. The same people act much differently due to changes in their perspective and this reverberates through any community.
Update - One of my friends writes me -
A common myth is that all graduate students are depressed. In fact, MBA
students are very happy and outgoing and they make, on average, almost as
much as law students on graduation.
I'm living in Schwab this semester. It's unreal.