The other week I went to a de-stressing seminar sponsored by the Women in Chemistry club. As I listened to everyone talk about how stressed out they are, and how they feel the need to constantly be in the lab and feel guilty when they're not, I realized maybe my grad school experience so far has been an anomaly.
I don't think I'm stressed enough. I get to lab between 8 and 9 in the morning, and leave around 6 every day, plus a few hours on Saturdays. When I get home, I do nothing related to chemistry. I don't read papers or ponder my data. And up until that seminar, I didn't even feel guilty about it. BUT, now I'm stressed out that I'm not stressed out enough, which I guess is simultaneously solving the problem and yet making my life a lot less enjoyable.
I think I would be able to brush it off and go back to my low stress level grad school style because I wasn't planning on having a career in chemistry (or any career at all really), UNTIL. Aaron ran some numbers and saw that we would have some pretty serious money problems if we tried to live on his residency salary with kids and $200,000 in debt. So...post doc? Does that mean I have to write 15 papers now? CAUSE NOW I'M STRESSED BECAUSE EVERYONE'S MORE STRESSED THAN ME AND DOES MORE WORK THAN ME AND I JUST WANTED TO HAVE BABIES POST-PhD AND NOW MAYBE I NEED TO ACTUALLY GET A JOB, AND THANKS A LOT DE-STRESSING SEMINAR.
I did get a little yellow smiley face stress ball out of it, though, so it wasn't a total loss.