loading page

American Chemical Society AMA: Hi, we are Chemjobber and Gregory Eells here to chat with you about what most of us (if not all) had to deal with ? graduate school stress. AUA!
  • AmerChemSocietyAMA ,
  • r/Science AMAs

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
r/Science AMAs
Author Profile


Hello, everyone! We are Chemjobber and Gregory Eells, and we’re here to chat with you about graduate school stress. A little bit about us: My pseudonym is Chemjobber, as is the name of my blog. I am a Ph.D. chemist in industry. I mostly cover the chemistry job market, but I also like to talk a lot about life as a chemist, whether it’s how to find a job, how to relate to your coworkers and also just how to get through the journey/adventure/joy/living hell that can be getting a graduate degree in chemistry. And my name is Dr. Gregory Eells; I have a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and am a licensed psychologist in the State of New York. I have worked in higher education mental health for 20 years and have served as a director of a university counseling service for the past 17 years. I am currently the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Cornell University. Hi, Chemjobber again. One day in late 2012, a chemistry blogger (Vinylogous) and I decided to write a five-part series on different mental health aspects of graduate school. It was quite a journey, with lots of people jumping in, including prominent chemistry bloggers and also full professors talking about their difficulties with the vagaries of research. Everyone has a story to tell about this, and a lot of them came out. It’s Greg again. Graduate school stress is in fact a big problem. In the time I have worked in higher education mental health, I have seen hundreds of graduate students struggling with mental health and general life concerns. Graduate school can be an incredible time of discovery and professional development and can also be a time where work expectations are very high and students often do not have some of the same protections of undergraduates or faculty members. In my graduate training I was very fortunate to have very supportive faculty and at times I did find the transition from graduate student to new professional very challenging and difficult. Feel free to ask us anything that’s on your mind, we’re here to help. We’ll be online at 10:00am ET to begin answering your questions! For more on grad school stress, check out these articles in the Sept. 14 issue of C&EN: Opening Up About Stress In Graduate School: http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i36/Opening-Stress-Graduate-School.html Grad students share strategies for taking their minds off work: http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/i36/Stress-Relief.html Also, check out Chemjobber and Vinylogous’ five-part series on grad school stress: http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2013/01/is-graduate-school-in-chemistry-bad-for.html CJ and I were just talking about graduate school stress and we thought it was worth discussing the role of alcohol in how many graduate students manage their stress and anxiety. Obviously, alcohol use is a part of social life and many social gatherings in the US and other countries. However, graduate students can turn to alcohol or other substances as a way to escape stress. There can often be a “work hard play hard” component to some graduate school cultures. The challenge is this use can become problematic and evolve into dependence. Alcohol use is not an effective long term strategy for stress management. This is Greg and I have to sign off for now. Great discussion everyone. UPDATE: CJ here, it’s 11:20 Eastern, I’ll be back in an hour or so.