It’s the start of the academic year,and for some people, the start of their graduate education in philosophy. Graduate students are getting oriented in their programs, and graduate programs are orientating their students. Are they doing a good job of it?
It might be hard for a brand new graduate student to know. And it might be hard for faculty to know, too, since not all of them are involved in conveying such information to the students, and because there might have been important changes to whatitisliketobeagradstudentinphilosophy since they were grad students in philosophy.
One way to get a handle on this is to ask grad students who are no longer brand new what they wish they had known when they started their programs—about being a graduate student, about studying philosophy, about departmental life, about the profession at large. (I know the tendency here is to read this as a request for complaints, but accounts of pleasant surprises are appropriate answers, too.)
So let’s do that.
Grad students, you can’t go back in time and tell yourself the answer to this question, but you can tell those just starting out now: what do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your graduate education?