Life during the PhD

Hi friends,

I hope all of you are doing well. I figured I should catch up with you and decided to write a little bit about life during the PhD.

As many of you may know by now, I am working towards getting a PhD in biology. What this means is that I have been working on trying to answer questions about a biological phenomenon for the past 3.5 yrs. It has had its ups and downs, but I think that I have been managing well.

Lately, however, I’ve been questioning whether this is the right path for me. In between being sick with my hip issues and trying to live life, I’ve been questioning whether this is striking the right life-work balance for me. To be honest, during the past 3.5 years, I have worked so much and I am beginning to feel physically and mentally worn out. I even worked through all of my surgeries because I wanted to move my project forward and, although I was really productive, I am also really tired.

I think this question is coming up because I had expected to finish my PhD this summer, however, it has become clear to me that I will be spending an extra year working on it. This has its pros and cons, however, I was not expecting to have to continue working this hard for the next year. I think getting a PhD is definitely a journey that I am equipped to handle, but I am wondering if I will be able to strike a good balance where I am living my life productively and also working in an environment that allows me to have this life.

I think what is adding to my unhappiness is that I have compromised a lot of my personal life so that I could put my career first. I am getting to an age where I am beginning to really think about what is important in my life.

I don’t know if any of you are going through this, but your input will be appreciated.

I hope you are all having lovely weekends…and I leave you with some photos from my recent visit to the Whitney.

xoxo,

M

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4 thoughts on “Life during the PhD

  1. Hey, not sure when you posted this coz my phone isn’t showing it. Anyways, if this is your current life, all I got to say is hang in there, keep your focus and the end of the road will be soon in sight. I’ve been through it, there were times I doubted I’d ever complete it coz there was always rewrites revisions additions the never ending new readings.
    Life during PhD is DULL. Do we even have a life? Hehe but that’s our life.
    Just hang in there and keep going. As they say the harder the battle the sweeter the result.
    Drop me a message if you feel like procrastinating for a sec and wanna share a story.
    warmest xx

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  2. Hey there,
    You sound like me and most of my phd mates when we were doing PhD.
    You are right, it’s a lonely life. Well, do we even have a life outside PhD ? Hehe. Just hang in there and soon you’ll get there. As they say the hardest battles bring the sweetest results.
    The rewrites the revisions the endless readings argh it’s frustrating ae? So easily time flies and there’s still so much to DO, right? It takes the toll on mental and physical health for the majority. Depression and wright gain is quite common. Here’s experience speaking 🙂 so v v important to keep some time for your self to do something not PhD. A nice walk, cooking, baking, yoga, meditation. Those short guided tracks on YouTube is fun and it does help.
    Just knuckle it down. You’re almost there.
    Drop a message if you feel like procrastinating 😉
    Warmest xx

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    1. Hi Amira,
      Thanks so much for the reply. I am working through these issues slowly. I think being tired definitely has something to do with this, so I am keeping myself motivated, but also allowing myself to have fun. Time does fly by and the stress of everything, writing/doing experiments/living life can sometimes not be noticed, but I am glad that I am taking time to process it. This is a long road and I am learning how to be the most effective grad student I can be.
      Thanks again,
      M

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      1. Hi, just wanted to share you, during my PhD journey I was so exhausted totally all the time. I would lie on a bean bag with my laptop but I couldn’t do a half page worth of work in a day.
        Long story short, turned out I had adrenaline fatigue in other words you simply burn yourself out. When you said you feel tired it rang the bell for me. Take care. Have a nice day

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