This is not an advice column. This is not a guide. My story may be very different from yours. It may be very similar but diverge somewhere along the way. I’ve played through life on easy mode–born upper middle class, white, and male. There are a lot of other factors that can pile stress onto a graduate student that I’ve just never experienced. Odds are I’ll say something along the line that will unintentionally minimize your own experience. I don’t want to have that effect. Please set me (us?) straight.