I wrote a blog post a few years ago about Dating a Law Student (link here), and it turned out to be a bit of a success. By success, I mean I get around 4 to 5 people a day reading that blog post, which is good for me. Today, I wanted to write about dating a grad student and what that is like. dating grad students can be a fun, exciting, and sometimes challenging time. But, I think, dating a grad student can be the best thing you do, and I want to discuss why. So, please come on this journey with me to find out the pros and cons of dating grad students.
Let’s look at the Pros
I love lists but today I will break it down more into sections when it comes to the pros of dating grad students. As I stated above, dating a grad student can be awesome. We do have to look at the pro of dating master’s students verse PhD students, though. For the most part, the pros of dating either one are the same. However, there are some differences that we do need to discuss so I will share the Pros of dating both types in this section.
1. They are smart
Grad students are extremely smart. I mean, they got high enough GPAs in undergrad to be accepted to a university to get a very high degree. Some of the smartest people I know have graduate degrees in some really complicated subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. I also have friends that are extremely smart in other fields such as finance, marketing, business, etc. So, when dating a grad student, be aware that your conversations might be about subjects that are complex and very few people understand them. This makes it exciting to date someone very intelligent because you’ll learn a lot.
2. They are hard working
Another pro about dating a grad student is they are hard working and will definitely be successful in most things they do. Working hard is a great trait because not only will they work hard on what they do in school, but they will work hard on your relationship as well. They get stuff sone and will make sure that your relationship is on top of their list of things.
3. They will likely make some good money after graduating
Let’s face it, we all want to be stay at home significant others and want to watch Netflix all day while enjoying our lives. This might be reality when dating a grad student. I know for a fact that many grad degree recipients are making fat stacks at their jobs. However, I am not saying stay with someone for the money or have a relationship for the money. I am just pointing out that with a graduate degree, you’ll be extremely hirable as well as more likely to be well off financially. SO, if you are dating a grad student and it works out, you will probably be pretty well off financially later on.
4. Schedule Flexibility
I have to give credit to my girlfriend for this one. I did ask her the benefits of dating a grad student and she jokingly said “nothing” but then made it up with some good recommendations. She said that schedule flexability is a major plus. I do agree. Grad students often have very flexible schedules so they can plan an outing or a date practically whenever. I have taken off whole days just to go hang out with my girlfriend then went and worked at night.
I find this to be extremely true for PhD students as they aren’t really taking as many classes as master’s students so their schedules can be somewhat more flexible. Master students have some flexability as they are taking maybe 3 to 4 classes a semester, maybe less, and many of these classes just aren’t that hard. If you want to know how hard a master’s degree is, go check out my blog post about it (link here).
5. They probably know where the cheapest and best places to eat are
Grad students are usually extremely poor (read my blog post about it here), but a good thing about that is they will know some awesome places to go for food and a drink that are cheap and fun. I remember always talking to my friends about where to go to get something good for under 15 dollars. They would share with me all of the great places they found and I would share with them my favorite places.
Then, when my girlfriend would come visit, we would go there so we didn’t have to drop a ton of money for mediocre food. This is a great perk especially right now when money is even tighter for everyone. I loved this when I would visit my girlfriend in law school. She was in Miami too so things were very expensive, but she knew the right places to go so we didn’t go bankrupt from going out to eat.
Cons of dating a grad student
Here we go. Let us talk about the cons of dating a grad student, especially those overworked PhD students. Please do not be discouraged by this section. Dating a grad student is a great thing, but you might have to make a few sacrifices when taking on this journey. So, let’s talk about the cons of dating a grad student.
1. They are busy
I did bring up that there is flexibility in grad school, this is true but the time that they aren’t working might be a good time for rest. Towards the end of grad school, for me, I was working (no joke) 16 hour days. It was miserable and I don’t want to brag about that at all. This can be the case for many PhD students, especially when getting close to deadlines. I was working so much towards the end that I would frequently come home to a very unhappy cat and would have to apologize profusely that I wasn’t there for him. If you are dating a grad student, just know that they may be extremely busy, all of the time. It is something you just have to accept 🙁 sorry.
2. They are beyond poor.
I barely made enough to make rent while in grad school. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had money saved up prior, I wouldn’t have enough money to eat. This is a hardship, especially in relationships, because grad students just don’t have the money to really do much. You may find yourself paying for some of their meals or even an electric bill here and there. It’s a sad truth and one that could make or break a relationship. Just be aware that they will be poor and might not be able to do fun things because they have to get groceries and pay rent or they will be hungry and homeless.
3. They will complain about things you can’t really help with or might not understand
They will complain all the time about what’s going wrong with their experiments or in their classes or whatever. Things that you may not be able to relate to and that can be a bit frustrating. I know there were many things my girlfriend would bring up that I couldn’t relate to and help out with. You may find this to be the case in your relationship with a grad student, especially those in a PhD program. In this case, I would suggest just having them talk about it and being there to help with whatever you can.
4. They will have late nights in the lab, office, or library.
You may not see them until very late some nights. I was bad with getting home at 12 am some nights, after getting to campus at 7 am. This can really stink when you have plans to do something like dinner or just see them that day. I promise that this isn’t something that always happens, but it does happen a fair amount. Some nights, you may just have to meet them wherever they are and bring them food. This is totally fine and may make their night. I know if my girlfriend was able to bring me food while I was in the lab, I would be way happier to be there. Unfortunately, she was 6 hours away from me lol.
5. You probably won’t understand what they are doing most of the time
You probably won’t know what the heck they are doing in classes, in the lab, or in anything academic unless you were in the same field as them. Some of the stuff they do may seem simple but extremely important like taking care of rats. They might be in very difficult classes and bring up topics that just go right over your head or are just topics that don’t interest you. A good example is my research on lead solubility and talking to my girlfriend as well as friends about it.
They didn’t understand what I was talking about nor why I was so passionate about it. This can definitely be a con with dating grad students because they will be obsessed with topis that you know nothing about and they will probably talk a ton about those subjects. My girlfriend talks a ton about lawyer stuff and I just don’t see how that’s a fun thing to bring up lol (don’t tell her I said that). But, yes, this can be a hiccup and a challenge.
Have you dated a grad student? If you have, do you agree with these and what else do you think would be fitting for these lists. Let me know in the comments.
Well, I hope you guys and gals are having a good day/week/year. I do appreciate you taking the time to read these blogs. You really make it worth it. Thanks. I will see you in the next one. Peace.