I can identify so much with everything you just said! I'm doing an Honours research year in Genetics and it does gets so mentally draining..This thread is really interesting, to find out the different life situations people on this forum are in, but even with how different we all are, there is still the love of our feathered friends that brings us together.
I'm doing my Masters in Cancer biology at the University of Toronto, Department of Medical Biophysics. My lab is part of the "STTARR" - Spatio-Temporal Targeting and Amplification of Radiation Response facility. I spend 99% of my time in the lab, with only a very small portion of my time taking courses, which is the norm for a Sciences related Masters. Our lab in particular studies prostate cancer and radiation response. It all sounds fancy and interesting (and it is sometimes actually interesting) but my day-to-day stuff often drives me nuts. I spend hours upon hours just doing the same things every day (growing cell cultures, ordering supplies, organizing experiments, data analysis, etc.). There is never a point at which you can say you've done enough, and it's always stressful knowing you should/could be doing more. Generally weeks or months are spent on things that are just necessary to set up a specific experiment (trouble shooting and such) and more than half the time nothing works anyway (the definition of research...). And even getting an interesting result will always just end up in requiring further experiments which require further trouble shooting. There is always a pile of at least 50 scientific papers to read on my desk, and I always know I will never get to >50% of them. Sometimes looking at that pile brings on dread and mid-life-crisis type thoughts. Sorry for the ramble, I just got home after an 11 hour day and it's nice to vent. I've seriously thought about taking at least a few months after I finish my Masters to just work outside of my field. I used to work retail back in high school. Folding clothes on shelves and helping customers sounds so relaxing right now (although I'm aware that's not always the case), and even if I made minimum wage that would be more than the stipend I get right now, which is sad considering I frequently do >60 hour weeks.