The interrogation of a PhD student

I can feel it weighing me down, pressing on my shoulders. It’s always there, I think about it constantly.

The deadline. I have to stop studying eventually – this lifestyle cannot go on forever. I have 8 more months and then I plan to just take on part time work to make up the amount that I got from my stipend and spend the spare time I have fixing up our house. It’s a DIY reno nightmare and we just haven’t had the time to tidy it all up nicely. Now’s our chance! It’ll also give me the opportunity to rest my brain, enjoy my relationship and just life in general again.

As a PhD student and someone whose career is essentially on a finite contract, people are constantly asking me when I finish. The answer used to be ‘I don’t know.’ Now, I know but I’m not sure if I’ll make it or what sort of job I want after submission. I still want people to stop asking me though! The pressure from within is enough, surely? The constant thoughts, the constant berating that I’m not doing enough, lots of constants that create a chronically stressful situation.

The packs are circling now that the end is in sight though – I think they can smell my weakness:

‘What are you going to do when you finish?’ I’ll probably end up chucking it all in and getting a job as a bartender on a desert island. They still have those, right?

‘Are there many jobs out there for people in your position?’ No.

‘No? Why’d you study it then?’ Because I love it.

‘I love Playstation, you don’t see me studying that.’ Probably because you’re a dick and Sony wouldn’t have you.

‘Is Mr Sleep and Salami going to support you?’ I don’t think our finances are any of your business but thank you so much for expressing a nosy-as-fuck interest.

‘Will you stay in research?’ If the right project presented itself, like the research of shift work of bartenders on a desert island.

‘Aren’t you a little bit more ambitious now?’ My ambitions have been beaten out of me by 14 hour a day/ 7 days a week of research.

‘Are you going to find a job here?’ Probably not, but you don’t want to hear that.

‘You must be thrilled it’s almost over!’

Yes.

Yes, I am.

 

 

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