“…Accept that most academics are introverts with underdeveloped social skills. Although there are certainly exceptions, we are, as a class, awkward and a little weird and tend to combine academic/intellectual arrogance with insecurity and competitiveness. If you are a graduate student, you most likely fit this profile, too. So give yourself and your potential advisor a break. Don’t take it personally if initial interactions are awkward. And forgive us if we seem pompous and full of ourselves; years of having people write down everything you say tends to warp even the strongest sense of personal humility….”
how to be a good advisee
Edit 2/6/20. I just linked to this old post. Re-reading, I’d give more overt attention to issues of student marginality and abusive profs. But I’ll let this essay otherwise stand as it was written nearly 12 years ago.
As I suggested in response to the thread about picking an advisor, it is a mistake to view an advisor as a commodity for which you comparison shop, as you might select a new dress. Rather, it is a two-sided process of building a long-term relationship. Your own behavior and characteristics are just as important as the advisor’s, and it isn’t just a matter of finding the right person, it is a matter of acting in ways that make both of you feel good about your interactions. So it is important to consider what makes the experience good for the advisor, not just what makes it good for the student. In…
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