Not Your Momma’s Olympic NP

It’s that time again friends. We are bringing you another installment in  
the Amazing Besties National Park Road Trip series. This was one of the most epic friend adventures either of us have ever had, so if you like best friend hijinks these posts are for you.  If you’re into pretty photos of natural wonders, you have come to the right place!  10 states. 9 National Parks and 1 National Monument. One summer of fun!

Want to catch up?  Check out the rest of the series here.

Days 19-21
Olympic National Park – Park #7!
Homeland of the Quinault and the Hoh

After weeks of driving north across the height of the US we reached Glacier National Park and began our voyage west across Washington. We made a pitstop for a waterfall and visited some childhood friends of Meridith’s. After three weeks of camping and camp food, sleeping indoors was a delight. We had pizza in Spokane that makes our mouths water to this day.

Reaching the Olympic Peninsula also meant taking our first ferry ride. We hopped on the ferry as the sun was setting over Seattle and arrived at the gates of Olympic National Park in the wee hours. Here is actual footage of Rachel getting ready to sleep in a nest of our clothes in the back of Meridith’s car.

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Friend Love

Here at Sweet Tea, Science we are big believers in the importance of platonic relationships to one’s general quality of life. Our culture tends to give supremacy to romantic partnerships, which is a bummer as it undercuts the intimacy and importance of friendship. We think meaningful friendships are extra important during the graduate school journey. It’s a long haul, and it’s important to have a network of support you can rely on to pep you up, cheer you on, and help you problem solve.

5 quick ways to show support to your pals

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Guide to Graduate School Grief

Hi friends.  I’m glad to be back in this space.  I hope you enjoyed reading Meridith’s life update last week.  While we all have our own struggles, my year has been particularly difficult.  This is your warning that I’m going to talk a lot about death and grief, so if you’re not in the place to read about that, I totally understand if you bail now.  I’ve bailed on a lot over the past 365+ days. But, bailing out means keeping your boat floating, and, with lots of help, I’ve managed to do that too.

“To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.” Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

I want to write about this, in the imperfect way I am able, because I know it will help someone else to read it.  Maybe you? We know that graduate school is uniquely difficult on folks’ mental health. I want you to know you’re not alone.  If this isn’t you, but it is someone you know, I suggest you start thinking about the support you can offer. This twitter thread is a great place to start.

I want to want to write about my brother specifically, but I can’t do that yet.  The short version is this. Last summer my older brother, Jake, was in a car accident on the way home from work.  By midnight on the day of the accident I was flying home to Kentucky. After nine days in a coma, my brother died.  

I want to write this to talk about my own experience over the last year as someone grieving as a graduate student.  I want to talk about the things that helped me and the ways that this type of pain gets mixed up in the head of one anxious, highly driven person.  I don’t intend this to be prescriptive. I know everyone’s grief and grieving processes are unique, and you don’t have to be grieving a death to have some of these things resonate with you.  I formatted this as a list of dos and don’ts, but there are no dos and don’ts.  There is no way to do this wrong.

I thought, in the hours we spent planning the funeral, that when this was all over I would want to write everyday. But, as the weeks passed, I felt my grief like cotton stuck in my throat.  I want to write about this because I think it will help me too.

Guide to Graduate School Grief (to be taken as loving insight with the full knowledge that only you know what is best for you)

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