Lego-inspired social media character reveals the gallows humor of grad school life

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture in Legos might just be worth 1,001 — at least to fans of the new social media accounts created by Lego Grad Student. A self-described “hollow head struggling to make it through a blocky world,” Lego Grad Student employs gallows humor and — you guessed it — Legos to portray the struggle of making it through graduate school intellectually, emotionally and financially intact. Cross-posted on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook, Lego Grad Student’s trials and tribulations have attracted quite a following since they first appeared in June. 

That’s to the delight and surprise of their creator, an actual sixth-year (human) graduate student in the social sciences at a private university on the West Coast, who — for the moment — would like to remain anonymous. Why? As any follower knows, Lego Grad Student is on the job market. Plus, his creator said in an interview, the posts might not be so universal if it was revealed precisely what he was studying, and where. 

It’s true that Lego Grad Student has fans across disciplines, who often use some variation of “devastatingly true” to describe his experiences. Indeed, his tableaux focus not on the intricacies of his research but rather on the human experience of graduate school: feelings of being on a treadmill to nowhere, being beaten to the intellectual punch by colleagues, …