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Today, a graduate student will make a terrible mistake.
He’ll blindly commit to a long-term relationship that will make him miserable. He’ll be too shy to ask his partner the painfully awkward questions that could predict their ultimate failure as a team.
Does this person have time for me? Is she enthusiastic about helping me succeed? Do our goals align?
Of course, this is not a romantic relationship: it’s the commitment formed between a grad student and his advisor. And though it’s not a marriage, it can cover some of the same emotional ground. When it’s healthy, you’ll both grow as people and you’ll achieve more than you would alone.
When it’s unhealthy, you might bear the emotional scars for the rest of your life.
With just a few simple changes to the graduate-advisor relationship, we can make sure more students, and their mentors, reach their full potential. Why leave it to chance?