Why We Exist

Look at that picture.

Books, books, books!

A tunnel of books with no end in site.

It’s beautiful.

And terrifying.

To me, that picture feels a little bit like grad school: It simultaneously represents a beautiful cocoon of limitless potential AND an impossible amount of things to read and things to do.

The most important thing to know is that this site was created for grad students by a grad student. This site is the tool I wish I’d had when I started my MA program and, even more so, my PhD.

I’ve been there.

I’ve shared tiny, crowded offices with other grad students.

I’ve googled “how do I write a prospectus?” and other essential PhD questions because everyone else seems to know and I’m too embarrassed to ask.

I’ve taken a semester in absentia because of family issues.

I’ve lived with the pernicious feeling that, no matter what I’m doing, I probably should be working.

I’ve lived with the anxiety of feeling like I’ve never been productive enough–and I have the anxiety attacks to prove it.

I’ve bought the books about how to get through grad school.

I’ve been through periods where I’ve given up exercise and healthy food because I just didn’t have time for either of them.

I’ve sacrificed needed personal care, like doctor, dentist, and therapist appointments, because I didn’t have time.

The statistics about graduate school are dismal:

  • Half of all PhD students in the humanities drop out–a full fifty percent.
  • Of the fifty percent that remain in their PhD programs the average time to completion is seven years. That is the average–some people take less time, some people take more.
  • Of everyone who enrolls in a PhD program, in any discipline, humanities, social sciences, and STEM, a full third will develop a mood disorder. This isn’t a third of people who get their degree–it’s a third of people who enroll.

There are structural problems with graduate school that facilitate these problems and, someday, we hope to be able to do something about those structural problems. (For more on that see The Dream.)

For now, though, our mission is to help graduate students finish well. We want to help people finish their degrees (if they want to) and we want to help graduate students feel well. We want to enable folks to do good work without sacrificing their health.

The thing I know from my own experience in grad school, and talking with my friends, is that grad students aren’t going to do anything if they have to sacrifice productivity to do it.

The goal of this site is to enhance your productivity and your health.

To do that, we’ve developed a method to integrate mindfulness and movement without sacrificing productivity. Want to know more?

Check out our Methodology.