For me, I think the experiment boils down to this:
How can I attend grad school (admittedly an act of bodily cruelty directed at myself (whatever that is)) and still retain the part(s?) of my [self] (I shall put it in brackets because I am rather sure I do not believe in such a thing as that which this word represents) that I like. There are, after all, parts of [me] for which I care, which bring [me] and my friends pleasure. How can I endeavor to keep these aspects, these reflections of my[self]? For I do wish to keep them. But attending school means killing so much of what I have at some time thought that [self] was/is.
I may not be recognizable when I emerge. Perhaps I am already unrecognizable, my friends and family staring at me quizzically as though someone else has taken over the body they recognize. Or so much of what they thought was me has been removed that they decide that the remainder and its new clothes and shoes and haircut are no longer something with which they wish to associate.
If I don't believe in the soul why am I even asking these questions?
Or rather, what is the difference?
I recognize that this post invites comment. But I am kinda serious.