Written for the following prompt: The house party me and my friends threw kinda escalated and after throwing out everyone I found this half naked person passed out in my bed but I can’t be bothered to wake them up now so I’m just gonna go to sleep and deal with it in the morning, they are kind of cute anyway AU
“Erica,” Derek says calmly—very calmly, he thinks, considering the situation. It’s two in the morning, he just trudged back from the library with a pounding headache behind his eyes, and he comes home to find their apartment the site of a raging house party, with drunk undergrads everywhere.
“Hey, Der,” she says, with that wide grin that only comes out when she’s had one drink too many.
“You didn’t tell me you were throwing a party,” he says, his jaw clenched, and she scoffs.
“This? This isn’t a party. This is a, uh, just a little get-together.”
Derek rolls his eyes. “It’s finals, for fuck’s sake. I’m going to bed, at least turn the fucking music down.”
He pushes through the crowd—accidentally hitting some of them with his backpack, oops—and finally seeks refuge in his room. The noise is dulled, blessedly, when he shuts the door behind him, and he exhales, letting his eyes fall shut. His momentary calm evaporates, however, when he opens eyes and notices the very important fact that someone is currently asleep in his bed, sprawled out on his stomach like he owns the place.
All Derek can see is broad bare shoulders, messy brown hair, and half of a mole-dotted face, pressed into the pillow and currently slack with sleep. Huh.
Derek sighs. He’s fucking exhausted, he doesn’t want to deal with babysitting some drunk kid right now, and he really doesn’t want him to wake up and then throw up in Derek’s bed or something.
Plus, the traitorous little voice in his head says, he’s really cute.
Derek shakes his head, irritated, as he drops his backpack on his desk chair. He strips down to his boxers and skips brushing his teeth—he’ll do it twice in the morning, and people are probably fucking the bathroom anyway, Jesus Christ.
Derek pulls back the comforter and gently slides into the bed, trying not to disrupt the mattress before he realizes that he’s being ridiculous. Why is he even considering a stranger’s comfort? It all seems for naught, anyway, because this kid apparently sleeps like the dead.
He takes a quick peek under the blankets, and at least the guy’s still wearing briefs, thank god. Derek doesn’t want to have to worry about accidentally sexually assaulting someone in his sleep.
He flops over onto his other side—thanks to the king size bed, his only grad school indulgence, there’s plenty of room—and closes his eyes. He’ll deal with this shit in the morning.
As a recently graduated PhD, I completely understand your stress, your worry, your anxiety, your exhaustion, your endless sense of uncertainty, your feeling that even though you do all you can, it’ll never be good enough.
Before I graduated, I heard lots of scary things from my mentors- that it would never end, that things get even more stressful after graduation, that in order to be successful you have to work nights and weekends for the rest of your life, that I’d have to pick between research and clinical work.
I want you to know those are scare tactics, not reality.
Life gets better post-PhD. I sleep better, my skin is clearer, I’m more mindful, my immune system is better, I can focus on TV enough to watch an entire episode of Sherlock, I’m more motivated and able to do fun social things in my free time- and I actually have free time!
And it’s still possible to be successful at work. I spent college and grad school learning how to work well. How to work efficiently and effectively. How to prioritize my responsibilities. How to learn new things. How to set my own deadlines. How to work with other people, who may have completely different working styles. How to receive critical feedback. How to live in an uncertain world and be confident in myself anyway.
Now I use all those skills, and my mentors and colleagues take me seriously. They trust my skills and my work. I don’t have to prove myself constantly anymore. Work is better. It’s easier, and I’m more effective.
Best of all, getting out of grad school has ended the tunnel vision grad school creates. I can see my whole life now, and prioritize what I want, rather than only seeing grad school stretching into the endless future. My whole identity doesn’t have to be centered around grad school. My goals don’t have to be solely academic.
Which is amazing because I get to be a complete person, and because it means I have more options for my life. The further I get away from grad school, the more I realize I don’t have to get that tenure track job at some super prestigious university to be happy or successful. I have options. And I can pick what’s important to me- the perfect job, the perfect institution, the perfect financial package, the perfect location. I don’t have to put academic success first in order to be a good scientist or to prove myself. I can pursue the right life for me.
You can, too. You can make it to the other side. You can pursue happiness and success. Keep going.
A/N: on vacation and unable to write properly so I dug out this year-old rambling outline I’ll never finish, for the monthly kanamari day!
Everything after Keep Reading is incomplete rambling outlines, read only if you can endure such XD;;;;
They had their first kiss when they were six.
The Awashima Hotel hosted many events, including the welcoming banquet where Mari first met Kanan and Dia. This time, it was a large wedding ceremony that booked the majority of the Hotel’s perimeter and, fortunately, that did not include the pond that Kanan and Mari often used as their meeting spot.
“The bride looks very happy,” Mari idly swung her legs back and forth as the two little girls sat on the edge of the pond. “I love her smile, it’s like she’s shiny! I want to be like her one day!”
Kanan tilted her head and glanced between the stranger and her friend. “Well, you’re prettier than her, Mari, so I’m sure you’ll be a shiny bride one day too.”
Blushing, Mari beamed and hopped from her seat. “Really? You think so?”
“Prove it then!”
Kanan looked so confused that Mari had to muffle her giggles and pretend to look peeved. A few moments later, those energetic violet eyes lit up.
“Gimme a sec!” Kanan was wearing a confident smile as she hastily cleaned up the picnic and patted the sheet to ensure there were no food crumbs on it. “Okay, here you go!”
Bewildered, Mari could only stand still as her friend gently draped the light-green sheet over her head.
“I know it’s not white and it’s not an actual veil but see? You’re a pretty bride!”
Mari’s heart fluttered at the way Kanan beamed and held out her arms, as if to present her to imaginary guests. Out of impulse, the little Ohara heiress dove into the hug and pressed her lips against the other girl’s. The latter’s ears reddened to an adorable hue.
“W-What was that for?”
“That’s how the bride and groom do it right? They stand at the front and then the groom lifts the veil and then they kiss.”
“Aww, you think I’m the groom?” Pleased, Kanan fidgeted and rubbed the back of her head.
“Why not? Do you not want to be?”
“I’d be honored, Miss Ohara!” She playfully bowed at Mari before loosening her bun out of its confine. She held up the hair tie and clumsily slipped it onto Mari’s finger, her smile dropping when she realized it was too loose to stay on.
Giggling, Mari tugged the hair tie securely around her wrist and gazed at her expectantly.
Kanan gently covered the little bride’s hands with her own, her expression uncharacteristically serious. “Will you stay with me forever and ever?”
“Of course, Miss Matsuura~” Mari pinched her groom’s cheek until a familiar grin bloomed once more.
In response, Kanan enveloped the laughing blonde in her signature hug.
“So if you’re bisexual, why aren’t you with a girl?”
And it had been going so well. A cascade of ink splotches all over Hajime’s notes when he clenches his fist, snapping his pen clean in half. The other members of his group project are staring, but not at him, their eyes are at the guy who’d asked without any shame and loud enough for the rest of the tiny study room inside the library to hear.
Hajime knows that the question is directed at him. He could just sock the guy in the jaw, never liked him anyways, he’s the kind of person who leeches onto a group for the assignment and all he contributes is his name on the final presentation they’re handing in. The room is silent. Nobody says a word.
The guy snorts and leans closer. “C’mon. You got the choice, after all. Aren’t you making it harder for yourself? Nothing against gays, they’re great and all, but you don’t have to go the hard way. And isn’t your boyfriend gay anyways - “
“It’s not a choice.”
They all watch him when Hajime rises out of his chair. Midnight-blue ink falls from his hands and smears on the floor when he takes a step, another, slowly rounding the table past his group members until he’s in front of the guy.
On the other side of the study room, sitting with some psychology post-grads even though he’s only in his bachelor yet, Tooru looks at him with soft eyes of amber and fire.
“I said,” Hajime looks down at the guy, and speaks, “that this isn’t a choice. You should know better than to say that attraction and love are something we have control over. But if you really want to be that asshole, I’ll tell you. And then you’re going to get your stuff and leave, because the only thing that annoys me more than your disgusting attitude is your inability to remember a single law that we’ve discussed in the sixteen hours we’ve been working on this project and you’ve been sitting there like moss on a rock.”
Someone whistles behind Hajime’s back, sharp and impressed. He ignores it, but a grin slips over his mouth when a group member mumbles “Thank fuck, someone said it, the bloodsucker’s getting wrecked.”
Hajime clears his throat, and fuck it, he allows himself to grin in a way that Tooru likes to tease him about because he looks like something with fangs and claws that hasn’t hunted down a decent prey in a long, long time.
“You could give me the world and everything on it to choose from and I’d still only want him.”
The silence breaks with a shout across the room. “I love you too, but it’s still your turn to cook tonight!”
What do you think is the best way to handle nerves and anxiety during interviews for grad school admission?
preparation and lots of coping skills- particularly distress tolerance skills.
put everything you can imagine needing in your bag for the interview day. remember water, snacks, chapstick, deodorant, pain killers, breathmints, and hand lotion. if you need to go to the bathroom be assertive about it, because you are likely to be booked solid for 4-10 hours at a time. if you need to use the bathroom, do it and be late for your next interview. they will not be upset with you. get a grad student (or several) on your side- having your host love you is ideal, because they will go out of their way to help you on interview day and vouch for you when the committee is deciding who to accept. if your host is shitty, look for another grad student to latch onto.
I also think it’s really important to accept your anxiety, and understand that everyone who is interviewing you knows that you are anxious and is not judging that anxiety. Most of the people you will interact with have been through that interviewing process- some very recently. They know this is new and scary and you don’t know where the offices are and might be jet-legged.
I once interview an applicant who was close to tears throughout our interview (and others, I later found out). She was accepted and is doing excellently. What was important to me about her is that although she was clearly nervous, she kept going. And what she had to say was thoughtful and well-informed, even though her voice was shaking. That told me that not only was she capable intellectually, but that she was resilient and tough, and her performance would probably improve once she learned to manage her anxiety better (it has). I tell you this to reinforce- your interviewees have been there, and we get it. We are not judging your nervousness as long as you don’t let it get in the way of your skills.
So don’t try to hide your anxiety, but do try to manage it. Some applicants get kind of rude and standoff-ish, and it’s hard to tell whether they are actually rude or socially unskilled, or anxious, or maybe they are introverts who need some space (you get VERY LITTLE personal time/space during an interview, so prepare to be “on” for about 36 hours per interview). Those people often don’t get in because we don’t want to take the risk of having a rude person join our department- it’s not fun for us, but we also don’t want our clients and participants interacting with someone like that. So identify how you act when you are nervous, and figure out how to manage that as best you can so that your interviewees still see all your strengths and awesomeness.
That’s right everyone, I’m still around! You can’t get rid of me that easily!
Every now and then I see the notes that keep coming in, the posts that get reblogged, and I miss you all. This blog was such a huge part of my grad school career! And now I’m off and running and I haven’t stopped since! Some highlights:
Even post grad you can still screw up your summer writing goals. Thats me watching the deadlines fly past me.
I’m working full time at one uni and part time at another. Why do I insist on keeping myself this busy you ask? I have no idea. It’s as if grad school wasn’t enough.
I had my first faculty meeting, whaaaaat?
My office phone is from 1989, I’m not even joking.
So many dealings with students, so many potential funny posts. I wish I could professionally respond to student emails with gifs.
I’ve been exercising? And eating healthy? What?
I read for fun this summer? Again, whaaaaaat?
Still not emotionally over that Game of Thrones finale. Who’s with me?
I’ve thought about posting on here, but then it’s not fair because it’s not how I see grad school anymore since I graduated, it’s how I see post grad life and faculty life, and trying to act like an adult and holy crap these people are treating me like a legitimate person how do I do this? It’s wild everyone.
So really, this is me reaching out and wanting to say hi! And also, if you want my personal blog, let’s do this! I want to keep in touch and get to know all of you more. Let me keep supporting you and cheerleading you through your grad school journeys. Just promise not to judge me. My personal blog is a different world from this one. Come on over to @notesfromalabprincess (Fingers crossed my students don’t find this. They googled me guys. THEY GOOGLED ME AND TOLD ME ABOUT IT).
Also, I thought I’d leave you all with some other grad school blogs to follow. These are wonderful human beings who have been there for me, and are funny, and smart, and can give you your grad school blog fix! So check out these amazing people and support each other!
So, I hope you are all doing well! I miss you all and posting. Maybe I’ll come up with something new and fun to do. Maybe I’ll do a bunch of tbt. Send me asks or post about grad school advice. But let me tell you for now, you can do this. You can come out the other side. I promise! I love you all!
While your on the subject of school, roughly how much more writing would you say there is in grad school than undergrad? I'm in the middle of undergrad and thinking about grad school, but just the thought of having to write a lot overwhelms me.
disclaimer: i’m in a writing-intensive field, so this is definitely going to be on the side of More Writing Than Most
there’s more writing in grad school for sure, but it’s also more self-directed than what had to be done in undergrad / you have more control over what you’re writing. here’s a rough estimate of the amount of writing i’ve had to do as a grad student per seminar class:
week by week: 500-1000 words, usually in the form of discussion posts, short response papers, blogs, etc.
midterm: usually a proposal, literature review, annotated bib, report, project,or smaller essay, roughly 10-20 pages
seminar paper: The Big One. ranges anywhere from 15-30 pages (the longest required word count i’ve ever had is 8k, but they’ve usually been around 5k)
multiply that times 3, and that’s the typical writing load i’ve had as a graduate student in course work. but, aside from readings and maybe having to lead a class discussion once or twice, that’s it. and 9 times out of 10, the work you do in the weekly writings and midterm builds to that final paper, so you’re not starting from scratch for every single assignment.
also there’s way WAY more freedom in choosing your project/topic– the best thing i’ve done as a grad student is have all my seminar papers build toward what i want to do my dissertation research on (that way i have sources ready to rock). writing’s a lot more enjoyable as a grad student, imo, than it ever was in undergrad. in a sense, they’re all your passion projects, and that really does make a big difference
now, if you’re looking into publishing that’s going to change the writing amount. articles are usually between 5k and 8k (in my field), and go through a lot of drafts. on a weekly basis, i probably write about 8-10k for everything– grading, my own papers, article manuscripts, conference proposals, grant proposals, consulting work, etc. during finals week i sometimes have to bust out 5k a day because i’m a TERRIBLE procrastinator.
but i’m also someone who works in communications, so this is probably not normative for all fields– if anyone is in a different field, please feel free to add your own workloads for writing!
Since I’m traveling and away from my magical artifact (read, tablet), please enjoy some batfamily sketch night. Featuring:
Damian has heard about the girls-wearing-your-clothes thing. He didn’t know it worked with clothes you wore 10 years ago or with girls who are playing infantile pranks, not flirting
My favorite happy-ending future headcanon for Jason Todd: Gotham Community College sociology professor. In which Jason turns all his complaints about Batman’s effectiveness into research drive to prove it. (Inevitably, his results don’t really support the Red Hood or the Bat. On the plus side, he’s the only grad student who thought the PhD experience was less grueling that his regular life.)
Dick putting together Babs’ ikea furniture
numerous practice headshots, many were needed for tim’s stupid hair
in this, probably my last “introductory”/background post, i’m going to talk about my favorite research-related experience from my undergraduate years: my summer in leiden. incredibly, i found this internship on tumblr (more on that below). here’s one of my favorite pictures from leiden (although i’ll try to upload more than just one this time!)
(ID: An empty brick street in Leiden, The Netherlands. The visible houses on the left side of the street are small, cute, compact two-story brick homes. The sides of the street are dotted every so often with greenery - a tree here, a bush there. There are some flowers growing out of the window of the first house on the left. And, in typical Dutch fashion, you can make out at least 5 bikes resting on the sides of the street, the most prominent of which is a bright pink bike by the first house on the left.)
okay, okay, i know that tumblr intro was captivating and you want to know more, so here it goes: i wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work in leiden if not for tumblr. i remember one night at home during winter break of my junior year when i was in bed browsing some obscure astronomy-related tag on tumblr mobile, and i came across this blog (which still exists, though i think its owner abandoned it long ago). it was all about this girl’s experiences in holland, about all of the friends she made and all of the adventures she went on while she was doing astronomy research. i remember how hooked i was - i read through her entire blog in a night, and i read it again the next night. i figured out that the program she was in was called LEAPS, and so i googled “LEAPS leiden” and…there it was. this amazing opportunity to do research abroad. and…wait, did it say they had an astrochemistry project this year…that seems like a perfect fit for me? i resolved myself at some point to make some moves so that the advisor looking at my application would know my name, so i emailed her a few questions, to which she enthusiastically replied a day later.
in two months, on my birthday, i had pulled an all-nighter studying for quantum ii and cs theory, and at about 4:30 am i got an email notification. it was from that advisor that i had emailed. i had made the short list for the program and was invited for a skype interview. i responded six minutes later with my preferred interview time. it went great, and i got offered the spot, and i turned down two internships that i would have *killed* for the year before to take a flight to the netherlands to work in leiden. it was the best thing that ever happened to me as an undergrad, and to think - i probably never would have known about it if i wouldn’t have been browsing tumblr and stumbling upon that blog. i know that the author of that blog is still in astronomy, and i think it’d be a little weird to go up to her and thank her for this if i ever see her at a conference, but i honestly think i still will.
(sidenote: if any undergrad astronomers are reading this and thinking about applying to LEAPS, do it!!!)
leiden was…beautiful. it’s a lovely city about a half-hour’s train ride from amsterdam, and it’s much smaller and quieter than amsterdam as well. there are cute little streets like the one above all throughout the city, and beautiful canals everywhere. it was the birthplace of rembrandt, and it is as picturesque as that title requires. a hundred (i think) of the walls across the city are decorated with poetry from all over the world, which is an incredible public arts project.
when i think about leiden, i think about how happy i was to be there. i struggled a lot with mental health throughout college, especially my sophomore and junior years, but i was so much happier working and living in the netherlands those three months than i think i had felt in the two years prior. i had my bad days, of course, and the constant rain didn’t help those. but the good days were great.
i went to leiden to do a project in one of the biggest (and i would probably say *the* biggest) astrochemistry research groups on earth. this was an unbelievable opportunity for me; i was coming from a great school, but a school that had only a single person working on research i would have considered going into in grad school (that number has since risen to two, but i guess that doesn’t matter anymore). when i got to leiden, i was suddenly surrounded by incredible research on all sides. the coffee room was always buzzing with activity in different languages, but every so often you could hear words like “star formation” and “accretion disk” and “radiative transfer” and “ALMA” just getting thrown around. it was…exhilarating.
at leiden, i worked on the chemistry of protoplanetary disks, which eventually made its way into my senior thesis at columbia. basically, when stars start to form within those molecular clouds i was talking about a post or two ago, they don’t do so statically; they’re often rotating. and to conserve angular momentum, a baby star ends up forming a disk of material around itself, which is eventually the material that’s incorporated into planetary systems. that’s how we got here, probably! i was studying specifically the formation of two complex organic molecules within protoplanetary disks that had just been observed a year (for one) and a month (for the other) prior to my arrival in leiden.
working on the cutting edge of disk research was really, really cool, and my advisor was absolutely the right advisor for me at the time. she was always unbelievably supportive and kind, and even so she found so many ways to push me scientifically and make me believe that i could do the things she asked of me. i never felt like a bad researcher in her group, and i always felt like if i worked hard enough, i could contribute something worthwhile. i guess i learned that the best advisors have that kind of magic about them, that they can push you to new heights without breaking you down.
i think that group was when i really started thinking that i had the ability to do this for real and really love it. because while there were points in the year prior where i felt i was starting to get a feel for research and where i had proven i *could* do it, they usually coincided with feelings of not *wanting* to do it. but after leiden, research felt like a real goal for me.
anyway, i’ve blabbed enough. leiden is amazing, here are some more photos of my time there.
(ID: A neon sign at a bar called Einstein’s. The words “Imagination,” “love,” “everything,” and “theory” are the only ones that glow bright blue.)
(ID: A few people walk a small brick path beside the walls of a castle. An old church looms in the distance between the trees and greenery.)
(ID: A man with longer blonde hair, in a pink shirt and blue shorts with a canvas backpack, walks his bike along an old brick path. At the leftmost edge of the path is a canal, and there is greenery all along that edge, as well as past the canal and before the road.)
(ID: The sun begins to set on a beach about 5 km from Leiden. The waves roll in slow and slow, and you can see the foam on top of the water. There are a couple of pillowy clouds, behind which the sun is beginning to disappear.)
(ID: A slightly blurry photo of the bridge between buildings in the Observatory at night. The bridge looks metallic and is lit brightly at regular intervals, and it looks like there’s a creepy workspace in the distance (it’s actually just a rocking chair, but a lack of light will do that to a photo). The emptiness makes one wonder why the person taking this photo was at work so goddamn late.)
(ID: A larger river spanned by a bridge at sunset in the center of Leiden. All sorts of houses and businesses are visible ont he right side of the river, and everything looks tranquil and peaceful.)