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Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School
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Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  444 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
This is a book for dedicated academics who consider spending years masochistically overworked and underappreciated as a laudable goal. They lead the lives of the impoverished, grade the exams of whiny undergrads, and spend lonely nights in the library or laboratory pursuing a transcendent truth that only six or seven people will ever care about. These suffering, unshaven s ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Alan Chen
Feb 25, 2015 Alan Chen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technical, fun, owned
I was laughing almost literally from cover to cover. Considering that I rarely laugh or even smile, that is a monumental achievement. The author, a former PhD student, knows his stuff, knows what you're going through, and knows how to use that knowledge to make gallows humor instead of inducing (more) depression. The chuckles start from the beginning, with a 140 page book being led off by a Foreword, a Preface, a Prologue, AND an introduction.

First of all, I want to make it clear that this book,
May 09, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Some of it was not really my type of humor, maybe. A few things made me chuckle (rants about seminars and undergrads), but otherwise it seemed a little over the top. Or maybe I'm in a good program. Or maybe I just don't hate everything quite that much yet. I have no idea.
Jan 04, 2015 Ayeshah marked it as to-read
يستاهل خمسة نجوم بس عشان العنوان ههههههه

The Title alone is worth the five starts lol
Jan 04, 2013 Nutkin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any university student
Recommended to Nutkin by: Holly Labadie
Shelves: own, humour, self-help
I received this book from another friend who escaped her own grad school hell and knew I could use a pick-me-up; was she ever right!

The author takes you through different points, from thinking about going to grad school, dealing with undergrads and finally trying to get out of grad school. I think he could've put more into the writing one's thesis or dissertation section since most of us have to spend so much time on it, but overall, this book was hilarious and allowed me to really laugh at all
Sarah Gutierrez
Mar 02, 2016 Sarah Gutierrez rated it liked it
Read to be sure I was sure.
Apr 29, 2010 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-2010
Full disclosure: I know Adam. Fuller disclosure: he is the funniest person I know.

That said, this book was as funny as I expected, AND MORE. As someone who got a Master's and quickly got the eff out of grad school, I related to a lot of the commentary in the book. It made me appreciate more fully my decision to leave. ;)

If you have, at any time, been in or considered going to grad school, I highly recommend this entertaining read. It may be the most entertaining thing you read for a while!
Atila Iamarino
Nov 04, 2012 Atila Iamarino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pos-graduacao
Ri bastante sozinho, como não ria lendo um livro há tempos. Rápido de ler, e muito bem humorado. Tem ótimas sacadas sobre a pós-graduação, que descrevem muito bem o que se encontra, na linha PhD Comics. Poucas e valiosas dicas realmente relevantes para quem está na pós, mas perfeito para saber o que o aguarda.
Greta Stuhlsatz
May 11, 2015 Greta Stuhlsatz rated it did not like it
Hands down do not recommend. Stick to PhD comics, they have the same amount of humor with a lot more wit and knowledge.
Adam Ruben came to talk at our university and he was pretty funny, he hit the nail on the head with quite a few things about graduate school. As part of his routine he told us about an Amazon review of his book in which someone called him a pervert. That aspect of his personality didn't come across in his presentation but after reading comment after comment after comment in the
Liz Gillingham
Two stars seems lame, but really, it was sort of funny, not super funny. One insight I believe I gleaned: it's possible that teaching undergrads could be worse than teaching high school. I will keep this in mind.
Geoffrey Benn
Aug 31, 2014 Geoffrey Benn rated it really liked it
“Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School,” by stand-up comedian and molecular biology Ph.D. Adam Ruben is a delightful send-up of the grad school experience. While some of the material will be familiar territory for readers of PhD Comics (i.e. tips for scoring free food), much of book covers fresh ground, using text, diagrams, and often hilarious fact boxes (did you know you can tell the number of years a person has been in grad school by counting the rings under their eyes?) ...more
howl of minerva
Jan 03, 2014 howl of minerva rated it really liked it
You'll laugh, you'll cry, it won't change anything because it's much, much too late.
Sreemoyee Acharya
Mar 20, 2015 Sreemoyee Acharya rated it it was amazing
As an eternally suffering graduate student since God knows when, I could totally relate to this book. As awe inspiring as academia appears from a distance, the reality is far from the truth. I adore humor, and this book manages to make one laugh through the pains that we grad students go through. Highly recommended for anyone who is thinking of entering this world as well as parents who keep asking --" when is your PhD getting over?"
May 30, 2014 Manuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the most hilarious book I've ever read! I'm not yet a grad student, but this book served as a slap in the face (a funny slap, though) to make me aware of the potential difficulties that await me as I pursue my MA. Wonderfully illustrated (who likes books without illustrations?), witty, and very deep and thought-provoking (nah, not really). I would recommend it to all recent graduates!
Mar 17, 2014 Essi rated it it was amazing
Dark, dark humour, yet it indeed WAS humour, concerning most of the things you end up experiencing or thinking about in grad school. And I only started last year! :D I loved to read this book and to laugh aloud while reading. Maybe I'll have another perspective on things for a while again. Best 'self-help' I've read in a long while.
Mar 14, 2014 Erika rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and sadly true, this book makes light of the plight of a graduate student. Relatable to graduate students in any field, it is a lighthearted and fun book to read when you need a break from the dense, dry nature of academic work.
May 05, 2015 Sowmya rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I understand the point - but this really is not about "surviving". Its just a frustrated rant - and not particularly good writing or creative humor either. As a friend with whom I discussed this book pointed out - "it misses subtlety". Very disappointed.
Samantha Trieu
Mar 30, 2015 Samantha Trieu rated it liked it
Recommends it for: College Students
This is more of a book of humor than anything else. Overall, it was refreshing and a humorous read. If you're a graduate school or thinking of becoming one, this book won't actually help you but I still recommend reading it.
Jan 20, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it
Most humor books are lost on me, especially those written by stand-up comedians who think that their delivered lines will work just as well in the written medium without any translation. Not so with this book. Although I've already finished grad school, and it was only a part-time program at that, I could totally appreciate the rigors the author describes. His sarcastic, dry, and pessimistic world view was perfectly in line with the trials of higher education. How can you not appreciate a book t ...more
Christine Shan
Mar 29, 2016 Christine Shan rated it liked it
Funny and light read. I like the illustrations and some of the jokes, but makes me a bit sad about the not so rosy picture of grad school
Aug 14, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it
“Graduate school would seem exactly like purgatory if it weren’t so much like hell”. Adam Ruben satirizes the process of earning the highest degree in the land with biting wit and laugh out-loud one liners. Obviously funnier to those of us who have actually gone through graduate school, or at least knows someone who did, this concise book nails every negative element right on the head. In the process of making us laugh at what we do to ourselves, Ruben exposes some of the real problems with the ...more
Lily Morgan
Jun 19, 2015 Lily Morgan rated it really liked it
The humor is pretty off-color but it did make me feel better about my stupid, stupid decision to go to grad school.
Jul 10, 2016 Kristin rated it did not like it
I'm giving this a 1 star because it's not my kind of humor and I stopped reading it soon after the first chapter. I'm sure if this fit your humor tastes this would be a much higher rating.
Bea Griffin
Aug 11, 2014 Bea Griffin rated it really liked it
Too funny and well worth the read. Although it does make me question my life choices... Oh well!
Sumbal Bashir
Feb 26, 2016 Sumbal Bashir rated it it was amazing
Funniest thing I've read in a while
Bill English
May 24, 2015 Bill English rated it liked it
Entertaining, but not informative.
Jun 23, 2014 Kacie rated it liked it
Quick read to distract from the actual reading I should be doing as a graduate student.
Nov 26, 2015 Jodi rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, nonfiction
Oct 27, 2014 Jack rated it liked it
good distractraction from grad school
May 12, 2011 Nick rated it liked it
Upon winning this book from Goodreads, I expected a book about college secrets or something to that degree to help me prepare for the daunting time I'll have to attend college myself. Boy, was I wrong! Surviving You Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School is actually really funny. Thanks to this book, I got a few laughs along with a few tricks to pull in case I'm ever stumped on a difficult AP question. Thanks for the book, Goodreads!
Jun 23, 2013 Rob rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Being a grad school survivor myself, I loved the first quarter or so, it made me laugh out loud several times, but unfortunately the book doesn't quite have enough going for it to keep you laughing till the end - this despite being very short (I finished the ebook in about 1.5 hours). It's a good enough laugh for anyone who has an advanced degree, but it could have been a lot better.
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