grad school is hard. and often depressing. it's not the work that's difficult... it's everything else. the politics, the pressure, the almost constant feelings and/or fears of failure (feelings and fears are plural because there are a legion of them that apply to a dozen other legions of aspects to feel and fear failure in). the thought of dropping out is fairly constant. and the only thing that halts that thought is pure obsession. sans obsession, and the warm feeling engaging with it provides, this bullshit would be impossible to withstand.