An extra piece of evidence

After playing with humanities in the previous posts, it is due to mention some of the actual work done about student life and grad school. There are extensive surveys done under the name of NCHA that cover almost every aspect of student life. They present US averages, but to my surprise the local Student Health office of my school also had data specific to that school. It is not allowed to copy the data because of privacy issues, but anyone with the data-analyst mindset can ask to work with the data on the Health office computer.

Here’s maybe a better report of alternative survey. The scientists have a well-developed paradigm of comparing perceived and actual reported aspects of life. The most striking probably would be marijuana use: 30% reported actually using it, while the perceived use is 85%! People think that virtually everybody smokes pot. In the same way, the perceived values of sex are way off (see the header), which is probably a source of all sorts of self-worth issues.

The questions about feeling isolated from the society, having low social skills and perceived vs. actual sex appeal are only indirectly present in the survey. It would be hard to come up with questions for that! I’ll see if my Student health office can contact NCHA and ask to have those questions included, but meanwhile I’ll just dive in the data and see how average graduate student life compares to my life and to, say, a college student life.. A relevant joke: “Average person has sex 70 times a year. It’s Dec 24th and it seems I’m going to have an interesting week.”


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