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From Stars to Cells to Individuals and Beyond!

My hometown is in the foothills of Himalayas, in Pauri district of Uttarakhand. I visit my village once a year or less. In one such visits, I got to view a moonless night where the sky was full of countless stars! It was a big revelation for me because I realised that what lay into the oblivion of the dark sky was more and more of twinkling stars!

In high school, our science teacher demonstrated microscopic view of an onion peel. The stellar organisation of biological entities that I observed under the field of view, translated my interests from the field of astronomy to biology!

Since then, I have aspired to become a scientist who explores the lacunae in scientific studies and makes sense out of how the world works, the way it does! This brought me into the academic research domain, where obtaining a doctoral degree is the first key step!



Grad school is a journey that starts when you are still an academically inclined human being, who has had control over their academic situation so far: with all the good grades and laud-worthy credentials on paper. An incumbent grad student has the shiny grit and grace and the Grad school attempts to carve out the diamond in them, by putting the individual through immense pressure, that often seems unbearable!


Not every individual is like that randomised arrangement of carbon atoms in a piece of coal, requiring similar amount of stress and pressure to be shaped up into a perfectly stacked diamond: it’s all too subjective a process!


Based on my personal experience with friends and myself, I believe Grad school can take a major toll on one’s mental health and it often goes unaddressed! Our versions of diamond needn’t be all too shiny, all the time, but in need of the right environment to help with the molding process!


I’ve also observed that many grad students develop this self-centered approach of working towards personal goals and start considering friendships or human interaction as a distraction in their growth process. However, we often forget that human evolution is a success because we are better when we become team players, than just trying to survive by being our own best selves without caring much about our peers!


Grad school not just gives a boost to your CV, it has the potential to make you or break you as an individual for the varied degrees of adaptation that the person would’ve developed. However, this journey invariably ensures that on the other side, a much humble and resilient individual emerges. One just needs to hang in there long enough!


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