Thor Ragnarok = Grad School

A few weeks ago, I went to see Thor Ragnarok and it was amazing!  So amazing that I saw it again the very next day.


For me, the best thing about the movie was the characters.  The way they actors used one another and reacted to each other made for a compelling and hilarious story.


When I got home after seeing the movie and my friends asked me if I wanted to see the movie with them (my second viewing), I said yes with no hesitation!


Then I started thinking about The Academic Society and if you all were interested in/loving Thor Ragnarok.  And I started thinking about things we could take away from the film.


thor ragnarok for grad school.png

And thus, this post was born!



I will will be writing about plot points, story arcs, and characters in the movie.  So if you haven’t seen Thor and hate spoilers, stop reading immediately!  Go see the movie and come back to this post later.  (See the image above, you can Pin it for later.)

Thor Odinson

Let’s start with Thor.  He is the main character after all.


Thor, the god of Thunder loses his father, his hammer, and his home all in the same day and is then lost to a foreign planet where he is enslaved and forced to win back his freedom.


This is not too dissimilar from starting grad school is it?  You lose your childhood and have to learn how to be an adult, in a new environment where you have to work for 4-6 years to win your freedom...I mean, defend your dissertation.


You become isolated from all of your friends:  new phone, who dis?


And you have to learn a new way of life, a new way to survive the experience.


My mom always told me that grad school isn’t about getting perfect scores and doing the best research.  It’s actually about endurance.  “They” just want to know that you can handle the pressure and keep trying.  It’s about perseverance.


And I think that mentality is what gave me perspective and helped me survive grad school without being overly stressed and without giving up when things got hard as often as they did.


Thor did this.  He never stopped trying to get off that planet and save his home.  Thanks Thor, for being a role model for grad students!


The Hulk


In the movie, The Hulk is lost on a strange planet and Bruce Banner has completely lost who he is to The Hulk.


Do you ever feel like you are completely lost to your grad school experience?  Like your whole life revolves around grad school and you stop doing the things you used to love to do.


What are those things?  Art, music, movies, sports, hanging with friends?


You should start making time for those things every now and then.  In my Facebook group for grad students, Thursday is “Treat Yo’self” Thursday and I encourage everyone to take at least 30 minutes that day to spend time with themselves.


In the movie, Bruce Banner eventually emerges from The Hulk but ultimately returns to The Hulk when the big guy was needed again.


The same goes for grad school.  After treating yourself, you do need to get back into the demand and responsibilities of grad school so that you can reach your goals.


There are so many other awesome characters in Thor like Loki, Hela, The Grand Master, Korg, Valkyrie, and many more!


I’d love to hear what you think about them and how they relate to you and your life in grad school!  Leave a comment on the YouTube video that accompanies this blog post!  Or share what you think in The Academic Society’s FB group.