I recently read this article which highlights some of the problems that can occur for students pursuing graduate studies (both at the master’s level and PhD). Since Shaun is pursuing a PhD and I am working alongside him on a master’s degree- we understand first hand some of the symptoms this article mentions regarding stress, isolation, and discouragement.
It highlights the darker sides of being a student. The pursuit of higher academia involves consistent tests of one’s intellect and continually challenges one think harder. It can be emotionally draining, depressing and lonely. As Christians, we must remember that our identity is in Christ, not in a degree or a dissertation. I don’t have too much else to add here, other than to ask for prayer as we take on this season in the rigours of the university. Pray for other graduate students you may know that are about to embark on their fall semester. Make use of opportunities to encourage individual students around you. It is important to have Godly Christians learn to excel in narrow disciplines. In many ways it is those who are in the academic world that create the moral standards for the next generation. Take a few minutes today to write a postcard, email, Facebook message, or personal phone call to someone in this type of setting. Let them know how much you admire their perseverance to make Christ’s name glorified in their field of expertise. Something this simple can make a world of difference!