You ask your professor a question and you’re told you’ll have to take an entire course to answer that question.
Your professor writes a blackboard spanning equation and then tells you to be grateful that you can actually solve the problem at hand.
People who are not grad students in science are ‘normal’ people.
You can’t explain what you study anymore to these ‘normal’ people.
When you do try to explain what you do, people think you’re not speaking in English.
After a point, you don’t think you’re talking in English either.
You can do multivariable calculus, second order differential equations, perform Taylor expansions with perfect ease, but you can’t do the bill at a restaurant.
There are hardly any girls in your classes. Or if you’re a girl, there are only guys in your classes :p
People think you’re smart for some reason.
But you still pull out your impressive (to the uninitiated) sounding course names because you know people will be impressed.
You feel that all you learn everyday is how much is left to be learnt.
You read PhD comics religiously, and make the occasional jaunt to xkcd. Often you’ll start off mentioning this or that PhD comic, and then realise the person you’re talking to is _not_ a science grad student.
You feel nostalgic when you see undergrads talking about those “101” classes.
You think nothing of knocking off a few pages of math to get the day started.
You facepalm when people say something like “I can’t read anything with too many numbers” or “I can’t do math”.
At the end of it, you still think science is freakin’ awesome and don’t understand how people can study all the other ‘mundane’ stuff.
Discussions revolve around either how what was done in class yesterday made no sense, or when the next opportunity for free food is.
You don’t talk about taking classes, you talk about surviving them.
Your cooking skills improve more than your science-ey skills do.
You wish the Greek alphabet had more letters. We have way more variables than letters to assign them to =\
You try to ignore the fact that life is a wicked choice between having a life and getting good grades.
You also try to ignore the fact that you’re exchanging your intellect for a pittance.
You love Thanksgiving because you get 4 days of nothing to do which means you get do to study and catch up on all the homework and classwork you hadn’t had time for. Same goes for Spring Break.
Your department staff send out emails to grad students with the subject “Leftover pizza in room xxx”.
You use words like “orders of magnitude” and “quantifiable” in everyday conversation.
You are shocked when you find out someone has never heard of Richard Feynman or Norman Borlaug.
You frequently use words like ‘game theory’ or ‘Nash equilibrium’ in conversations, and then have to backtrack because no one has any ‘effin idea what you’re talking about.
You think your hyper-specialized problem is the most pressing issue in the universe.
You develop a profound feel for the staggering extent of your ignorance.
As they say,
More at whatshouldwecallgradschool