There’s a great post on Buzzfeed about the 25 Deeply Painful PhD Students Problems (besides your thesis). So, here is how some actually apply to my case…
1. Telling children you’re in the 25th grade.
Well, this one is particularly true and weird. Explaining to my nephews that I work at the University… and that in this case work = study, is complicated.
2. It’s been at least 10 years since you had a “real” weekend.
This doesn’t mean I don’t actually enjoy a weekend every once in a while, but it’s never a truly relaxed time. Even if I’m not working in the lab, I’m stressing about not being there… so…
3. Going to parties and everyone’s just standing around talking about their research.
… well, this one doesn’t apply quite literally, it’s more like, being with your undergrad and grad friends and talking about nothing more than research, grants or lab problems…
4. When someone claims that being in a doctoral program isn’t “the same thing as having a real job”:
It’s not! It really isn’t true! I may not have a 9 to 5 job, I might even get out some days in the middle of the day and go home, because there’s nothing more I can do in the lab that day, but I also work most of my weekends and worry constantly. I have to write reports and papers and read tons of research by other people… a PhD is a JOB!
5. …and feeling ultra-guilty anytime you try to relax.
It’s impossible not to feel guilty… all the time! Damn I fell guilty for the time I spend writing in this blog!
6. When all of your colleagues are married, and you’re just like:
It’s not my collegues per say, since most of the people in the unit I work are a lot younger than me… but these last couple of years, a lot of people from my high school and college are tying the knot…
7. Feeling some degree of “impostor syndrome” at least once a day.
…”as in, you’re just waiting for someone to realize that they made a HUGE mistake letting you into your program and to swiftly kick you out.” – YEPPPPP, TRUE!!! But by now I think that this is a very normal feeling!
8. When someone asks you for the 357th time what your dissertation is about:
Yep, yep… not even my parents know it properly…
9. Seeing someone on your dissertation committee outside of school:
By rule, I avoid everyone remotely related to this area!
10. When someone asks how “writing” is going:
Yeah… Tough subject!
11. Explaining to your friends with 9-to-5 jobs why you can’t go out on Friday night.
This is a bad example because I never want to go out… but yeah, it there’s work to be done, it will come first, whatever the hours or days of the weeks…
12. When ANYONE asks you what your plan is after you graduate:
I’m halfway done with my PhD (the stipulated time, anyway) and I have no idea. I also don’t know why I was supposed to know before I even got into the program… oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out… eventually…