Seeing yourself as more than just a graduate student is crucial–the dissertation should not be the core of your identity.
I have always been thankful for the weekly poetry slam in Austin, which allowed me a chance every week to meet people outside of academia, express myself in a non-scholarly way, and generally have a life outside school. This was particularly important my first year in graduate school, when I was single and in a new city.
Like any other kind of worker, graduate students are entitled to regular days off, a family life, and hobbies.
During our first year of grad school, one of my colleagues actually said to me, “I’m not here to make friends.” We later became good friends, and seven years later, I can’t imagine her repeating this sentiment.
“You’re a human thing,” as the Be Good Tanyas sing. And as a human, scholarship cannot be your only priority.