Photo by Kadarius Seegars on Unsplash

I always liked to believe that I was independent, conscious, and driven by my own wishes and goals. Sometime around the beginning of last fall, the curtains that were shielding a different truth started to be lifted and I had the sense that there were little signs around me that were begging to be seen. I was under the impression that something important was lurking just beneath my consciousness, but it felt like every time I came close, it burst like a bubble.

I had never thought of myself as someone who fit neatly into a box. As a matter…

After high school, I embarked on a tumultuous ten-year journey that eventually led to receiving a doctorate. I joined the ranks of a highly specialized and intellectual community. I was a Scientist (imagine it in big shiny neon letters, or me in a shiny white coat).

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The entire galaxy could not contain my sense of accomplishment, not because I was one in a million or particularly exceptional as a scientist, but because I almost quit more than five times during my PhD. …

If you’re a fellow academic and have been on social media in recent years, then you probably know that there is a lot of talk about everything that is wrong with academia. While this has ruffled more than a few feathers, I believe that it is a harbinger of change on the horizon, or at the very least the possibility of dialogue — as opposed to digging our heads in the sand and pretending it’s all rainbows and butterflies.

Let’s face it, we all know that academia is broken and in turn breaks the backs of many, which is…

Joy N. Ismail

I have a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and I’m currently a neurobiology researcher. I’m also a mental health advocate and writer (

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