My PhD Life


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Hi peeps,

I'm so happy that I found this forum!! I'm also doing a PhD and currently I’m in my final year. For me, it wasn't always easy to work on my thesis and I had many moments that I really considered to quit with my PhD. Many times it felt like a torture and like I lived in a prison. The atmosphere at our department also played a role in this: men are dominating our department and they created the atmosphere that doing a PhD is a piece of if you're facing troubles or if you're uncertain about your skills or research then it's better not to tell this to others otherwise you'll get the feeling that you are a loser.....this is how I’m experiencing it....

I faced many struggles, but at the same time these struggles motivated me to continue. At the same time I've decided to leave academia after finishing my PhD. If I look at my colleagues with a post-doc position;;; that's not the work I want to do after finishing my PhD.....sometimes I got the impression that the scientific field (I’m from social sciences) is just like a factory and that you have to publish or you will perish.....some people really like this, but I don't.....and if I look at the post-docs: they also live, like a PhD student, in uncertainty....if you have today a post-doc project it doesn't ensure you that after finishing that project you will start with a new depends on getting grants, applying research proposal etc.....and if you're lucky you can get a position as university I said before: some people really like this and see this not as a torture etc. but as a challenge....but I don't want to do this....

So....but still I want to finish my PhD because I want to show to some people that I can do a PhD.....maybe this is the wrong reason for finishing a PhD, but for me this is a legitimate reason.....and secondly, I want to finish it so that I won't regret later...I read some threads of other PhD students who wrote that doing a PhD is a waste of time....I disagree with that....well, maybe it will not always be a benefit at the labour market....but on the other hand, doing a PhD means also that you'll develop certain skills that can be very valuable at the labour market....for example: doing a PhD actually means that you're leading your own project (although your supervisor advises you etc.) and that you take the decisions etc.....and more important: doing a PhD is not a waste of time....because you can get known yourself much better after being through all those struggles....

I also want to say that people who are considering to start with a PhD should think twice :D


I think as you have described, a PhD journey is a rollercoaster ride.  Some projects get through it and others fail due to problems occurring. I think a determined mind and a robust project are key to success (whether I have that remains to be seen!). I do believe now that a PhD does not automatically provide well respected and well paid jobs.  In the initial years I thought it might open up some opportunities that otherwise would be out of my reach, but I am not sure that I want those myself either. In reality, I am looking to go back into my clinical career that has much better pay and long term stability in favour of perhaps a research post-doc that might intrigue me more but has poor future security and poor pay.  I always took on my PhD because I wanted to academically achieve as high as my abilities, ie this was a personal goal!

I would say to potential students who are keen to pursue a doctorate, make sure you know why you are doing this and don't expect a glittering career as a result. It will provide transferable skills but there are very few in this financial climate that will acheive financial security purely based on their PhD.

Avatar for jennifercheong

it seems like PhD is a hopeless shit that we are all blind and doing a thing that worth nothing...

Well, for me, PhD is a life journey, that God has blessed some of us to go through. If you are traveling in a country that you never been to, what will you do? you will snap-snap, you will smile, you will feeling excited and curious like a little child for everything and everyone you see, right? Well, you should, and you must apply the same mentality for a new PhD. Well, life itself is difficult, full of false hope and challenges, but nobody can promise you anything, it's all up to God, up to your supervisor and up to you. Dare to fail, dare to do PhD, dare to join this forum, is already proven a success for you! Well done my friends, you aren't wasting time or made a crazy and wrong decision for doing PhD, in actual fact, you are on the way to a success story...even Bill Gate, the richest man on earth, are a failure in a degree course, a university dropout, so what?