PhD versus "Life"



Just a quick one, in pursuit of academic advancements, does one not miss out on the finer things in life i.e. booze, sex etc ...?


Mr. "Almost to start on his PhD aged 28"


3 months in and I'm not missing either cos I'm not missing out on either!


I think as a doctoral student you do miss out on a lot compared to working peers.

I think one of the biggest things is the financial disparity. The average graduate salary is £23k. To be fair some doctoral students are on this amount of money, most are not and it limits what you can do, where you can go, or make plans like homebuying or travelling.

As previously mentioned, a PhD is often detrimental towards relationships and isn't the most child friendly of pathways (I have never heard any student being given maternity leave while their stipends are being still paid).

That said, it is what you make of it. If you allow yourself to be consumed by your project and don't get a good work/life balance, I guess you could blame the individual. There are plenty of students who manage this and still come out with their PhDs.


Its like being in a playground with see-saws &slides. When u get into the see-saw it either my pvt life is up & phd life is down or reverse, when try to balance & stay like that neither my PhD life nor my Pvt life goes up or down which isn't healthy for either life..moving to slide, I'm at top in slide with my PhD doing well but the slide for going down swiftly with my Pvt life..what else..oh the will take u in circles & throw u out when money runs out. So, moral of my playground story-u have to sacrifice one for the other at one point in time & make the other be neglected so u could move up in one part of your life. This should not have to be always factor but at one point you will have to do the sacrifice either its sex, booze, going out, having children, marriage etc. Keep your fingers crossed & hope that the other life waits for u wih some similarities left for u to connect back. (is this booze talk or new year depression hitting me? whatever & who cares!)


I think some postgrads are in for a nasty shock if they think their working lives will be plain sailing after the PhD. Most competitive professions require long hours - get used to it! And I am married and had a baby at the end of my 2nd year - you don't have to put your life on hold but you do have to think hard about how to manage your time and relationships.

If you really want to be face a challenge to going out and having fun - have kids. At least you don't need a baby-sitter for your research while you go to the pub...


Try getting married and bringing up a family then you will have to compromise on the finer things in life!!


I don't think you HAVE to miss out on everything - I have been with my boyfriend 6 years, met him whilst doing my BSc, we managed to get through him doing his PhD and I'm just waiting for my viva... so, I had the relationship and sex through the PhD and went to the pub about 4-5 times a week. I'd actually say one of the main things I 'missed out on' was getting 3 years experience in IT so I could be on a higher salary than I am on now... my (almost) PhD hasn't helped me as I'm not in academia and am employed as a graduate.. so could have got the same job 4.5 years ago....

Pros and cons to both sides... however I wouldn't listen to scare stories and apply them necessarily to your situation.


I've met a lot of PhDs who have continued the sex and booze from their undergrad days for another 3-4 years. In fact the odd postdoc too....
You're more likely to miss settling down and starting a career outside academia for more money.