Today. Tomorrow. Every day. Because it requires attention year round.
And the start of the semester is an appropriate time to bring up this study by Levecque and co-authors, covered in Science, that focuses on graduate students. It quantifies the problem, but also identified consistent predictors of mental health issues:
- work-life conflicts
- high job demands
- low job control
Another recurrent theme in these news items is the importance of reasonable job expectations, potentially non-academic ones. It is thus maybe not a coincidence that “Positive perception of career outside academia” has a strong positive effect on graduate mental health. If you know that all the hard work will eventually lead to a satisfying job that requires this education, and not necessarily a low probability faculty position after an endless series of postdocs, maybe that makes all the hard work worth it.