CW // mental health/self-harm: This post describes sensitive topics and contains content that may not be suitable for all readers. If you need support, please reach out.
I eat unhealthy and cheap food once a day, sleep less than 6 hrs, and have 0$ towards entertainment. Yet I save a total of 0$. Loans, rent, etc. Cost of living has increased to such an extent that on a daily basis I talk myself against various things. Stretching a dollar has been the mantra since I've started my grad studies. How can a brain function properly, think of science and innovation, if life has become putrid? How can I, who dreams to be a top scientist, invent or discover, if a mosquito can have more proper food than I can? I do not, cannot make any major decisions for my life, I would if I were living one. My life is worse than that of a fruit fly. They can get food whenever they can, I can't. Life has become so expensive that the only thing I can afford is to stand in front of a speeding vehicle. But, the desire to be a top scientist is providing the resistance for now, which is disintegrating on a daily basis. The lack of sleep and food would do the job anyway.
If graduate funding was CAD $35,000/yr for all students, how would that change your life? If the funding increases, then I can start affording proper food, buy some clothes, and save a loonie or two. For a long time I wanted to learn a few things, which requires a fee. I would be able to afford that. Rent a proper place. Afford proper transportation. Afford a vacation, go to a restaurant for the first time in 5 years. Buy a coffee, without second guessing. I would be able to do all the normal things if the funding increases. The lack of financial stress would allow me to focus more on research work. When the boulder on my shoulder is removed, I would be able to walk, jog, and run peacefully. But, all of this requires action, a realistic increment in the funding. For now, all we can do is pretend that airplanes are shooting stars, and wish that donkeys would evolve into unicorns, and the funding increment would be implemented.
Additional Comments: Grad students are the heart and soul of science and technology. When we are suffering, so would the world. Even great minds like Einstein or Tesla, were once students. So taking care of us, properly, would mean a better world.