your time is your own in a PhD, and its up to you how you use it
You should have plenty time especially in the first and second years to enjoy yourself.
there will be times of intense work when you come towards submission deadlines.
It also depends on your supervisors etc
I would say the best policy si to maintain a stable and maintainable level of work throughout and meke sure you are doing plenty of reading and writing and planning at first, but enjoy your life as normal as much as possible
If you want to go out and enjoy yourself, then do. If you don't want to, then don't. The most important thing during a PhD is that you find time for yourself so that you don't go mad. How you work that time around the work you have to do is up to you - I know someone who worked 8am-8pm 7 days a week throughout the year, but took an entire month off each year just to get away from it all.
Yes, there will be times when you won't have the time to go out because you'll have a huge workload, but this won't be all the time.
Sorry to vent my frustration but this forum really doesn't give a good view of what I consider to be the average PhD students’ experience.
I am studying for a PhD with a very reputable university in collaboration with a huge pharmaceutical company and research council. I have tight deadlines to keep (data presentation most months) and several supervisors to keep happy.
Even so, I socialise at least twice per week and never work more than a few hours over the whole weekend.
Studying for a PhD is also about personal development – its no good spending three years in the lab/office and coming out at the end with no social skills and severe dermatitis from lack of sunlight!
Maybe this is because I am studying in the UK were we tend to be treated a junior members of staff, but the horror studies I have read on this forum regarding abusive supervisors and people working 24/7 7 days a week will do nothing to attract people into the profession.
(sjo4 and i00t2000, its nice to see some other students are living in the real world too!)
following on from Dan's point, hands up who has a supervisor who actually expects you to work like this, or even if you know anyone in your department who ACTUALLY works like this?
Because based on my experience, there are a lot of folk who talk a good game, 'oh I work 12 hours a day' - but very few who actually do it -
sure they may have done it once or twice - but very few people sustain this kind of thing.
I know you can go through phases (couple of weeks or a month) of long hours, but does anybody do more than a 9 hour day 5 days a week (or more) 12 months in the year?
No-one in my dept - but I had a good friend in another dept with a witch of a supervisor who was of this style. And some people I know have had lab projects which, by bad luck, have just turned out to need a lot of hours.
In my dept people definitely work a lot of evenings and weekends but it's definitely not all work and no play.
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