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Higher Education

by ShadowVyper

Graduate school
A school that

awards advanced academic degrees

Rewards academic overachievers

with the requirement that students must have

completed an undergraduate degree

complete devotion to their degree

and graduated with

an adequate grade point average

nothing less than honors, extracurriculars,

and radiant letters of recommendations


Students fill classrooms doing their best

to learn all that they can

to outshine their peers in every way

Feeling pressure to

complete assignments on time

excel at everything on the first try

And keep from falling

behind on coursework piling up in planners

into cycles of self-loathing and despair.


Departmental seminars to showcase

your research to colleagues

your incompetence and anxiety

Follow-up questions to spark

deeper scientific thought

doubts of your ability to continue in the program

Receptions afterwards to build

a sense of community

stronger self-destructive thoughts and feelings

The ride home, a perfect time

to reflect on lessons learned

bawl until your throat burns and shoulders heave.


Being a scientist means learning

all you can about the natural world

how to live with your own inability and failures

Knowing the truth

about vaccines and climate change

about the insecurities that threaten to drown you

every moment of every day

And offering kindness to people who refuse

to believe scientific theory

to listen when you say you're not okay. 

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61 Reviews

Points: 4338
Reviews: 61

Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:32 pm
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OofOof1 wrote a review...

I like the style of the story. It's a good peom. All of the lines scattered around everywhere made me confused though. I know that is how your poem goes so you don't have to change it if you don't want to.

Graduate school
A school that

That was the part that got me confused because I thought it was a title.

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401 Reviews

Points: 13413
Reviews: 401

Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:58 pm
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Tuckster says...

Spoiler! :
Holy heck, dude. This is /good/. And I'm not just saying that because I feel obligated to; this legitimately had me at a loss for words. You're incredible <333

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1197 Reviews

Points: 28261
Reviews: 1197

Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:10 pm
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niteowl says...

OMG this is too real. I remember too well the angsty grad school days. This isn't a proper review, but I have to say it's funny that there's so much emphasis on class work here, because my advisor said that's what we should care the least least until annual review time came around and he said my GPA should be higher like he didn't give me half those Bs. One time, I got a 42/100 on one of his tests and I was legitimately thrilled haha.

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59 Reviews

Points: 2173
Reviews: 59

Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:43 pm
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SirenCymbaline wrote a review...

Daaaaayum this must have been complicated to program the arrangement of the spacing for this, props to that dedication.

The placement of the lines down the sides, with the bold text in the middle leading to them while staying the constant in the middle, is innovative and I like the disorienting effect it has.
The disorientation fits with the themes of being overwhelmed by expectations, and there's nothing I like in poetry more than a tailor-fit format that boosts the feels of the piece.

And with the brochurey stuff on the left side, and the depressing side on the right? Yes. I like.

And the middle text being in bold helps differentiate all three parts nicely, and overall make the carefully sectioned mess nice and cohesive.

Every time I re-read this, I got a bit more out of it.

The left side is meant to be more positive, but despite my using the word 'brochurey' earlier, it feels less like that, and more like a student's robotic attempt to describe the experience of education in a way that their environment will consider acceptable.
I feel like that says more than if it was purely a positive side. It illustrates a kind of cynicality that disguises itself, either because it doesn't want to be disturbed by others, or because it is actually trying to be positive, but this is the best it can do at the moment.

That's all speculation and projection on my part, but I hope you're glad to see that this is the kind of piece that a lot of people are going to get a lot out of, even if it's not exactly what you intended.

I don't really have any criticism for this, sorry >.<

But the last three lines really get to me. Even the 'positive' side here acknowledges harsh realities, and the final message from the 'negative' side couldn't be clearer.

Overall, the feels are real, and please keep experimenting with format.

Thxbye ;3

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530 Reviews

Points: 30691
Reviews: 530

Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:13 am
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FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...

Hello, Shady. I am here with a short review for you. I won't take up much of your time.

Now this poem was very true in every way. And it was fun to read, and funny enough it was a little funny. But I did have a little trouble following with your lines being all over the place, it would be better if they were all under each other, but that is just my opinion. So if you don't think you should change it I understand.
I do have to say the stile of the poem is cool, just for me it was hard to follow, that's all. I do hope to see more poems form you Shady. There really good. And I like your riming and your punctuation is really good, so I can get some really good tips from you.
I hope you never stop writing and have a great day/night.

Your friend
FlamingPhoenix. :D
Reviewing with a fiery passion.

He who knows only his own generation remains forever a child.
— Cicero