Episode Archive


No, it's not just you. Grad School Confidential pulls back the curtain on the grad student experience, taking a candid look at the feelings that many of us leave unspoken.

Return to this page regularly for updates to our program library, and to check out earlier episodes that you may have missed.

Episode 5. "Like an Empty Shell": Living with Depression in Grad School (Sept. 2021)

Release date: September 20, 2021

Graduate students are more likely than most people to experience depression — a disorder that can have devastating effects on our thoughts and behaviour. In this episode, a recent PhD student explains what depression felt like, and how she reached out for help. Note: Contains discussions of suicidal thoughts and other troubling subjects.



Access this episode via Simplecast
Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts / Google Podcasts
Download the transcript (coming soon)

Access these resources on depression and suicidal thoughts


Music credits:

Licensed from soundstripe.com: “Haunted” by Emorie; "Shaken and Stirred" by Dreamland (theme song); “Haunted” by Stephen Keech; “Arcadia” by Cody Martin; “Ripley” by Falls; “Three Meters” by Stephen Keech; “The Changing Tides” by Brent Wood; “1947” by Stephen Keech; “Chasing the Northern Lights” by Sounds Like Sander.
Episode 4. That Sinking Feeling: On Dealing with Criticism (May 2021)

Release date: May 3, 2021

Feeling discouraged — and a bit stunned — by some tough academic criticism? In this episode, we explore those painful moments in the face of criticism, why it hurts so much and how to respond. Two PhD graduates share their stories, and we hear from author Kevin D. Haggerty.



Access this episode via Simplecast
Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts / Google Podcasts
Download the transcript

Check out these resources on dealing with criticism


Music credits:

Licensed from soundstripe.com: "Shaken and Stirred" by Dreamland (theme song); “Brennar” by Falls; “Wistful” by Falls; “Raindrops” by Moments; “Crocuta” by Hill; “Apostle of Ireland” by Cody Martin; “Full Circle” by Sounds Like Sander; “Remember This” by Craig Allen Fravel; “Escape” by Memory Theory; “Cayuga Land” by Alsever Lake.
Episode 3. Hitting the Wall: On Burnout in Grad School (Feb. 2021)

Release date: February 17, 2021

Feeling spent and exhausted? You’re not alone. In this episode, join us for a conversation with students who have struggled with burnout at various points in their program. They share their stories, and we explore some useful strategies.



Access this episode via Simplecast
Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts / Google Podcasts
Download the transcript

Check out these resources on burnout


Music credits:

Licensed from soundstripe.com: "Shaken and Stirred" by Dreamland (theme song); “Gem” by Nu Alkemi$t; “River Walk” by Wild Wonder; “What You Do Not Know” by Joshua Spacht; “Many Worlds” by Memory Theory; “Through Space and Time” by Alsever Lake; “Life in Binary” by Falls.

“Marimba on the Hunt” by Daniel Birch, available from freemusicarchive.com under a CC.BY-NC 4.0 licence.

Episode 2. Scholars in a Dangerous Time: Loneliness, Isolation and COVID-19 (Dec. 2020)

Release date: December 14, 2020

Finding this pandemic year hard to navigate? You’re not not alone. In this episode we chat with two grad students who have struggled to deal with the loneliness and isolation brought on by COVID-19. They have plenty of wisdom to share.



Access this episode via Simplecast

Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts / Google Podcasts
Download the transcript

Check out these resources on loneliness and isolation


Music credits:

Licensed from soundstripe.com: "Shaken and Stirred" by Dreamland (theme song); “Skeptical” by Lincoln Davis; “Lift It Up and Feel Good” by Rhythm Scott; “Drama Dee” by Rhythm Scott; “Moonflower” by Matt Wigton; “No Place To Go” by Alsever Lake; “Distant Memories” by Joshua Spacht; “Wait For The Morning” by Joshua Spacht.

Episode 1. "Who Am I to Talk About Impostor Syndrome?" (Nov. 2020)

Release date: November 9, 2020

Does it sometimes feel like other grad students have it all together in the classroom and in the lab...while you don't have a clue what you're doing? You're not alone. Impostor syndrome is one of the most common, and least talked-about, struggles in graduate student life. In our inaugural episode, we ask why grad students are so vulnerable to these feelings and share some strategies for addressing them.



Access this episode via Simplecast

Listen on SpotifyApple Podcasts / Google Podcasts
Download the transcript

Check out these resources on grad students and impostor phenomenon


Music credits:

Licensed from soundstripe.com: "Shaken and Stirred" by Dreamland (theme song); "Forbidden Wing" by Cody Martin (opening); "Home Life" by Avocado Junkie (GSA message).

Licensed from storyblocks.com (for Dylan's story): "On Tiptoe" (audio); "Bizet's Habanera" by Keith Anthony Holden; "Seminar People Talking" (audio); "102518-wib-1m8"; "Sneak a Peek" by Bruce Zimmerman; "Turning Cogs" by Keith Anthony Holden.

Other musical excerpts include hikmet_minor2, performed by Hikmet Altunbaşlıer and created by emirdemirel, available from freesound.org under a CC BY 3.0 license; trumpetsolo0_hikmet.aiff, performed by Hikmet Altunbaşlıer and created by emirdemirel, available from freesound.org under a CC0 1.0 license; Performance Warm Up.wav by thatjeffcarter, available from freesound.org under a CC0 1.0 license; and tracks recorded by the Alberta Honour Band (1999).

Watch for a new episode, coming soon.