If you've ever read PHD Comics, you'll find the genre familiar - the harrowing path towards a graduate degree documented with humour, but not without a faint echo of despair. As an online procrastination break that pokes fun at real-world difficulties, such comics are a favourite of budding academics of any persuasion, whether they're in the arts or sciences.
Lego Grad Student is the latest addition to this genre. It's a tiny yellow dude with a face frozen in a perpetual smile, although it's clear from the captions that life in academia is no cakewalk for the little character - financially, emotionally, socially and even academically the "hollow head struggling to make it through a blocky world" isn't doing so great. Conferences are expensive to attend, food is always scarce, supervisors are unhelpful, and there is always someone in the department who seems to be achieving far more than seems possible.
The comic photo series was created by an actual grad student, who turned to Lego toys as a welcome distraction from toiling over his own research work, according to Claire Warner at Bustle. The scenes, elaborately built from a seemingly vast collection of academically-themed Lego bricks, are largely exaggerations of real-life events.
"Some of the exaggerations are more obvious — I haven't cried over a toilet, and I haven't destroyed a printer in a burst of flames. But some form of most of the images has happened to me or someone I know," says the anonymous creator.
However, this does not mean you need to give up on a career in science. While things can be incredibly stressful for a first-year student, over time you can certainly learn to appreciate the brighter side of things (or at least let this little Lego man bring things into perspective).
"A lot of things I've portrayed would not have been as funny to me during my first year of grad school."