I am a phd student and I have 7 other class mates who along with me were inducted this fall (2023) to the department of chemistry. We have to take 6 courses together before we start doing research in our respective labs. The course work here is very rigorous and challenging. Group discussions and tutorials help you a lot but my classmates don't want to discuss with me I don't know why may be they hate me bcz I am on first merit position (merit is not solely based on grades here it depends on lot of things, GRE, communication skills, Co-curricular activities etc.) Or may be I am a hate-worthy person I don't why I am going through a lot these days. 5 of them have found niche in each other's company and when I try to socialise with them they give me a silent treatment and sometimes they age shame and weight shame me (as I am an overweight person who looks older than his age) All of of are in 25-27 age bracket but they think I am some older person impersonating as younger one. My grades this far are not good I am very week at some subjects which I need help for I have tried to reach out to senior students and students from Masters and other fields taking the same courses but no one here wants me on their groups or social circles. The reason behind my being a slow learner is ADHD which has seriously affected my academic performance but my research is still great. I am having hard time here as if I don't get certain grades I wont be allowed to continue. Can somebody give me some advice on what should I do in this scenario. Thank you in advance.

1 Answer 1


I'm really sorry to hear you're having a hard time. The first year of graduate school is particularly difficult – course material, the social aspect, everything. Many folks often have the same or similar challenges to those you described.

My suggestion is that, first, you contact your university's health center or counseling center. Many universities (most of US, Canada, UK, Europe) have easily accessible and free counseling resources. This can make a difference in helping find solutions or ways to reduce your stress, and make a plan on how you're going to approach the challenges you're having (including on how to maybe engage others in your cohort and start to form friendships inside and outside your program).

Second, I'd recommend contacting your university's office that works with students with disabilities or learning accommodations. The health center or health/mental health services could help direct you, and generally that information (email/phone number) is available on the university website. They can arrange accommodations for any challenges you might be having related to ADHD, which may further make a difference in your day to day.

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