July 2017

Let's Move with the Means teaser image
I am currently moving, the one thing from being an adult that I do dislike. Contrary to what you might think, I dislike it not due to the strenuous force and will needed to take something that was organized (low entropy), disorganized it (high entropy), and organized it again (low entropy); no, I dislike it because it brings to light how much stuff, objects, things, I have that I don’t necessarily use in a periodic basis. This shows a lack of commitment with my budget and how I am not thinking about the future me (which would have appreciated if past-me would have restrained himself of buying a wine glass rack; man, it is not like you were going to need more than a couple of wine glasses).
Look, I understand, coming from work to your organized, wonderful apartment/house allows for a release of all the stress and frustrations that you may have accumulated during your day at work.
As grad-students, we are going to be moving, that is something that is real. It may not be within your graduate career (like what is happening to me), but at the end of it all, you are moving. At some point you’re going to need to move entropy up and down to get yourself to a different place. I have come then to realize something: having a lot of stuff doesn’t mean that your apartment/home is full; it means that you have expended. Let me explain, people want their houses to be a representation of who they are, and that is correct in all aspects of it. If you go to someone’s house and is completely fashionable, usually the person has the same tendencies. Now, what I’m trying to discuss is the idea that you don’t need X+1 things to actually demonstrate who you are.
I had a professor back in Puerto Rico and I have the grace of having a nice friendship with him. During one of our conversation, he shared how he didn’t concern himself with buying stuff and saved all the money he was making as a TA and RA to buy a car, a car that eventually helped him move on in his career as a professor. This made me think about the number of times I have bought stuff just because I had the money. I want to make a call to all graduate students to recognize that sometimes we buy too much (Amazon just makes it too easy) and our well-earned money goes into stuff that are not necessary. Let’s start saving up and becoming savvy with our income; so that when the time comes (and you get that post-doc position that you wanted) you have enough to survive. Texas A&M University has programs and services to help undergraduate and graduate students to learn how to budget and help explain some of those buzzwords (tactical trading, ROTH-IRA, TARP, etc.) that you might see, but unless you have some background in economics, it may be difficult to distinguish. I invite all to evaluate and do the “do I really need this?” in every Amazon, E-bay, Target, and Wal-Mart buy to be able to move with the means.

Luis R. De Jesús Báez | Chemistry

Luis R. De Jesús Báez is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the department of chemistry. He likes to write about the small things; those that are important but sometimes we forget due to our busy life. Let’s converse!

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