• Dr A Bashir

05 The Power In Sum

Trigger/content warning: Mental illness.

Graduate students are, on average, three times more likely to experience adverse changes in their mental health over the course of their degrees. This finding is not terribly surprising to those of us still in graduate school, but a scary statistic nonetheless.

Graduate school can be a mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting experience, triggering depression and anxiety in some, and feelings of helplessness and isolation in others. We touched upon this topic in this month's episode, where we speak to Sarah Louadi, a research technician and recent graduate from the Experimental Medicine Masters Program at the University of British Columbia. During our discussion, we spoke about the mentorship and support she received from her stellar graduate supervisor, Dr Neil Cashman, the importance of mental health, and balancing one's time and energy within and outside of the laboratory.

I was struck by the (relatively obvious, but nonetheless important) realisation that our supervisors can truly make or break our graduate school experiences. Grad school is hard enough as it is, being overworked, underpaid, undervalued, and sometimes overlooked. What Sarah finds helpful is the feeling of support from those around her, especially, from her supervisor. Thus, we decided to call this episode, "The Power In Sum"; as apprentices in pursuit of our personal goals, we often forget that a graduate degree is best completed when well-supported. In fact, the force we yield when we work together can be so powerful - powerful enough to soften some of the blows that we are bound to come up against when things don't go as planned.

Visit https://www.herroyalscience.com/podcast for the rest of Sarah's beautiful story.

May you find the sum that makes it all easier.

Peace and blessings,