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Nov 27

Things Only a PhD Student Can Understand

Did You Know?
The first PhD was awarded in Paris in the year 1150, but acquired its modern status only in the early 19th century.

All students have to face some or the other problems at some point in their life. The life of a PhD student is no different. You must be thinking people are crazy to give up their well paying jobs to study again. They are simply trying to improve their life and future in this way. And let us tell you, how much ever beautiful their life may look from the outside, it is definitely not a piece of cake for them. Doesn’t matter what the topic of research is, there are a lot of things that are common to all PhD students. They sacrifice their precious weekends for their research and dissertations, and always seem to be surrounded by books. However, it is worthwhile, even if it doesn’t feel like that at first. So, if you are also a PhD student, check out this list of things and struggles that you will definitely identify with.

Things Only PhD Students Can Relate To

What’s a weekend?
You haven’t been out or partied in like ages. Of course, this is exaggeration, but PhD students would know what I’m talking about here. You always turn down the invitation for a Friday or Saturday night party even if you are getting tempted to say yes. Why? Because you have a whole chapter to complete. Even if you do go out on weekends, you are just sitting there clueless, and wondering what to do next or what to talk about.

And when you go with your other PhD friends, all you do is talk about research, because hardly anyone in the group is in touch with the latest music and other trends.

You’re always broke
While other people are busy earning and buying cars, apartments, etc., you are busy paying for your books, bills, rent, food (pizza), etc. You’re always left wondering if you’re not eating properly, because you are super busy or simply you’re broke. And well, you decide that it is a combination of both, and that most of your stipend went in pizza or coffee shops. It has become your hobby to calculate how much pizza, coffee, and beer you can have every weekend, and still be able to pay the bills.

Library or labs have become your home
Trust us to trust PhD students to fall asleep almost anywhere, with their favorite places being libraries and labs. You are not only party deprived, but also sleep deprived. You are so sleep deprived, that you feel sleepy while studying (well, all of us do!), and when you try to sleep, your guilty conscious from within comes out, reminding you about the work that needs to be completed.

You’ve no idea where your life is going
While many of your friends on Facebook and Instagram are posting pictures of their newborns, engagements, or marriage, you are still struggling with your books, and wondering where you will be in the next two years. You dream of getting this degree, but you have absolutely no clue as to what will happen in the next one hour. You think that you’ll figure it out soon, but that day hasn’t arrived yet.

You have the habit of observing the tiniest of details
Thanks to your research habit, you know more about anything than other people around, and you are proud of it! But now, you also have a sometimes good sometimes bad habit of observing the smallest detail about anything. You get into the details every time you talk about it to someone, and they just stand there staring at your face, looking bored. *Awkward silence*

You have no future plans and you’re addicted to studying
You simply love learning new things and love studying. You’re so much used to studying, that you often find yourself thinking about what and where you’re going to study next.

You’re looking forward to be called ‘Doctor’
Oh, we know you’ve rehearsed calling yourself a ‘Doctor’ in secret many times. You end up telling everyone that you are not pursuing a PhD simply for the title, but because you love the subject. But as and when you get closer to the end, you’re super excited to be called a doctor, and wish that everyone would call you using the proper credentials.

You hate it when people ask questions about your thesis
You hate it big time when people ask you for the 287th time ‘what your research topic or dissertation is about’ or ‘how’s your writing going on’. You think of various ways of explaining it to them, but then wonder how you’ll explain, when you yourself have no idea about it. And this is what your reaction is.

When you’re dating another PhD
Dating another PhD student will surely help you understand each other in a better way, because you both are always in the research zone. You’re always learning something or the other from your partner, even if you don’t understand them, and often help each other out, especially when you are being too hard on yourself and not taking proper care.

You both can go to conferences together and not bother about the rest of the world. And of course, they are always there to constantly remind you if you exceed your break time.

You know where the best and the cheapest coffee shops and other food joints are.

Your office and home are full of research papers.

If you are asked to describe your life in one word, it’s always RESEARCH!

Sometimes you amaze yourself when you see your old papers that you had written like ages ago.

Sometimes you get SO bored of it that you promise yourself never ever to talk about your topic again.

Although it is difficult and hectic, you still love what you are doing.

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