Last week a computer science PhD student at UC Berkeley committed suicide. A result from his fight with depression caused by unrealistic expectations that many graduate program cultures impose on PhD students. A result from a society that largely stigmatizes depression.
A friend and fellow-Phd Student wrote his opinion on the matter (below), which mirrors my thoughts on Stefanov's death. His death should be a talking point in PhD programs everywhere, yet I have barely seen reference to his passing on social media or in the news.
"But alas, work-life balance is often seen as an euphemism for slacking off, in an environment where we see colleagues routinely putting in 80-hour weeks. Grad school is not for the faint of heart."
I am in a department and have an advisor where I feel like I have had the luxury
of having a work-life balance without forsaking research. Yet even in this environment I still find myself questioning whether or not working less than 12 hours every day is an ok thing to do. #gradschool #phd