Thanksgiving as a Grad Student
It’s Thanksgiving break and I am so excited to relax and not work for a few days. Care free for 5 days while I spend the week just enjoying family time. It is how I spend every holiday weekend. So relaxing leaving work behind and just being in the moment.
I’m totally kidding. That’s not at all what happened. I packed work to take with me. I spent every free moment trying to make graphs look publishable and finishing a presentation I was giving the Monday after Thanksgiving. I peeled potatoes, ran an analysis while they boiled, and then went back to mashing them. The only day I didn’t work was Thanksgiving Day itself. I had it better than my other friend. He spent black Friday collecting rat pups. As a former PI once said, animals don’t know it is a holiday and science doesn’t sleep.
Holidays can be rough for graduate students. It is even harder to explain to your family. It must be frustrating for them to watch us struggle to take time off. To grasp why I have to work even though it is a Saturday, that after dinner I need to go back into the lab for that last time point. Luckily for me, my husband has had 7 years to start to come to expect this behavior from me even if he doesn’t understand it.
Still, let me take a moment and thank all the families, friends, and significant others who put up with us. Who drive the whole ride home so I can work in the car. Who don’t complain while I work in between cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Who let me disappear for 4 hours on Saturday afternoon to finish an experiment. Who sits patiently while I work during their vacation. Thank you for understanding, or at least putting up with it even if they don’t fully understand it. Thank you for being flexible when my schedule isn’t. I couldn’t do it without your support.