I remember when I interviewed here that the thing that stood out to me the most was that all of the students talked fondly about how supported they felt during their quals. They all told stories about how their lab mates banded together and made them food to help them get through. At the time it sounded also slightly horrifying, given they talked about them as if you don’t have time to make food (that’s not the case, but if you are really into what you are doing, you maybe don’t have the mental energy to expend to planning a meal).
I was fortunate to have some meals prepped by my lab mates Zach, Linda, and Thaìs and I really, really, super appreciated it. I thought I had things planned out and that I would easily make it through with the food that I had, but it was nice to not have to worry about it, and also to know that they had thought about me.
It was also nice to have spent some time with Dave, Dan, and Göker over the weekend. They all put up with me chatty sort of crazily about what I was working on.
And finally, it was nice to have friends check in on me, whether it was on gchat (thanks, Esteban & Emanuela), twitter (thanks, Dave, Whitney, & Andrew), or facebook (thanks, mom). I really did feel well supported.