Tommy1983 is right - we all do a lot of complaining on this forum. And while it's great that we get support when we've got troubles, it might also help us if we occasionally think about the bits of doing a PhD that we like - or even love. So I'll start.
Things I like about my PhD:
- the luxury of having time to think, read, write and create something new.
- 'light bulb' moments when I get a flash of inspiration, an understanding, and the words flow. This makes it worthwhile.
- subject matter, even after all these years!
- seeing my name in print in journal articles.
- spending time with my dog, my muse!
- knowing that one day, I'll be a 'Dr', instead of a 'Ms'! Now that'll feel fabulous!
C'mon - what else? :-)
AAAAAAHHHHHH! I LOVE the smell of thesis in the morning.
Seriously, I love the sense of achieving something really difficult, I love learning to write, being creative, being the master (largely) of my own work. Now I'm going to stop because I feel as though I'm at a job interview.
======= Date Modified 28 Jul 2009 09:40:00 =======
Ok, when I'm having a good day the following are things I like about my PhD
- Finally putting some of my skills that I learnt as part of my 2 master degrees to use, particuarly SPSS and qualitative training etc etc.
- As my PhD kinds of flows across various disciplines, I enjoy bringing in theories across different areas and pulling all the arguments together
- Finding out from other people and other departments that my work is really important and new. I enjoy studying and exploring something that is completely new to the field.
- If I'm having a good positive day, then I feel proud that I've come this far. I've had a really rough time as a child (victim of abuse and in and out of foster care) so I feel that I've achieved something despite the odds.
- I like the fact that I'm gaining 3 years relevant experience that will help me with my future career and hopefully win me a place on the clinical psychology doctorate after this PhD.
- Although my funding has run out now, I liked the big fat pay check I used to get from the ESRC. I liked the security of having definite funding for three years- pretty important in terms of paying back my career development loan!
- I like the fact that (sometimes) my opinion on things is valued by academics. I like to receive praise and encouragement from leading academics within the field- always good confidence boosters!
- I like the fact that after my PhD, I stand a good chance in terms of securing a well paid job within research (which I might consider specialising in.)
- Although I tend to keep to a rigid routine, 8am- 4pm day, I like that I can take time off whenever I want to and work wherever I want to (although my supervisor prefers me to be in the office all the time!).
- I like being a co-author on papers!
- I like being involved in such an important project which may have an impact on govermetnal level stuff.
- I liked the opportunity to teach undergrads and develop experience along the way and sharing my knowledge with others.
- I enjoy (sometimes!) a challenge!
- I've enjoyed seeing how I've progressed from a nervous student into someone who has more confidence and that I can now confidently argue my corner with professors!
- I've seen an improvement in my academic abilities- a major pull factor for me! :)
Guess I can name quite a few strengths/merits of PhD life!
======= Date Modified 28 Jul 2009 13:43:26 =======
nice one Sue.
I like being in control of my own time. studying when i want. being able to organise my own schedule. studying on my own. learning new things about biology. the feeling of accomplishment when i've studied during the day and then can relax in the evening. :-)
feeling that i've contributed in a small way to the scientific community, to the grande knowledge of biology by way of my 2 journal articles and the research i have done.
======= Date Modified 28 Jul 2009 20:58:17 =======
What is this "bitching" about this and that? Nobody here who is doing a PhD and has problems (you shall have them too) is complaining that doing a PhD is not enjoyable, that reading and writing is not enjoyable. They do it for they want to do it (as you). This is an arduous journey and has its ups (for which we go pubbing with friendly faces) and downs (for which we sometimes need the comfort of written words and an anonymous forum).
While it is a great idea to record the upside in a thread as this, there is no need to point fingers at the larger proprotion of downside reporting.
And was "bitching" really the right/nicest word to use? We are all motivated people here, in love with our intellectual interests and doing this for we like it and we want it in our careers/lives.
Nope - let's not even talk about bitching here! This is a positive thread for us to reaffirm why we put ourselves through this!
And another thing I like - I love being on campus, taking in the energy of the students, and walking around a gorgeous old sandstone uni.
Yay Bug - I know you aren't feeling it at the moment, but you really are the voice of sanity sometimes!
Whoever it was who referred to 'bitching' on this forum, as Bug noted - although there are some drama queens - this forum is often the only outlet for PhD students who are experiencing significant problems. If you don't want to hear people complaining (as Bug said 'bitching' is not the word) perhaps I should suggest you avoid those threads with titles that suggest they may be written by someone experiencing difficulties.
I enjoy doing my PhD on the grounds that one day I can leave (hopefully in a few weeks!) and prove to the 'learning impaired' staff at my current university that I can get a better job, and more successful career than they will ever have...
What I like most about doing my PhD is just having 3 years to self indulge in something that I am interested and think is important, instead of slaving away in some corporate firm doing something I have no passion for. I like the opportunities I get to meet people from so many different backgrounds and expand my own understandings of the world, and perceptions of the people in it. I like it that I get to go places to ask people questions that very few other people get to experience.
Just my 5 cents worth - a PhD is as much about the process as it is about the final thesis. I find it hard to understand how anyone could go through a PhD and have no problems. I think if anyone can do this, then they are really missing something. The highs are great and the lows are awful, but together they are what make the experience so valuable. I personally have no issues with people discussing the challenges of their journey here - in fact I value it highly.
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