My dear fellow postdocs, if this is you

The clock stroke midnight

You were still in the lab

Tears climbed out of your eyes

Checking what you’ve done with your life

You said it’s for the love of science

But Tears started to laugh

“Remember the broken heart pieces that you count to go to sleep?”

You didn’t want to argue

As you stopped the count long ago

They kept breaking down further

You just couldn’t see the point

You busily looked after everyone

But nobody looked after you

As you are not a valuable student

As you are not a valuable PI

You dreamed your enthusiasm could outlive reality

You trapped yourself in the abyss

Really sky is the limit

Yet you couldn’t see a light

“But there are positive changes!”

You argued, holding onto the last straw

“Yes!” roared Tears.

“But the stats ended your career long before your start!”

You were brought down to your knees by the shards of the words

You were reminded of the pain when your heart shattered to pieces

Your body finally gave up on you as you’ve abused it day and night

You desperately wanted to find the young scientist you used to be

Alas, no one would choose to stay

“Darling, if you truly love science,

stop fooling yourself.

It’s not your job to carry the system and it’d be arrogant for you to try.

Be healthy and happy first,

then you can do the science fair.

You don’t know how bitter science is

when produced by broken hearts…”

Tears’ voice drying out as you collected yourself together

“It’s time to leave,

for the love of science.

Look after yourself,

you’ve only got one life”

My dear fellow postdocs,

if this is you,



that science needs you,

to live a happy life

by Lizi New



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