the dreadful question - when will you finish - third years and others.


am just so mad at people who keep asking when i'll finish, whether what am handing in is a last draft. like it's any of their business!! is there anyone who else getting agitated by the enquiries of well meaning relatives and friends? what do you tell them? i just told one that i don't whether my chapters will be a final draft - that depends on my supervisor.

am so sick of all these questions. why can't everyone mind their own business. i never ask them about their work reports, when they'll finish them, whether they are final drafts - why should they ask about mine. grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!


I keep having to explain that even once I submit there is no end to it because I have to do the viva, there could be corrections, etc., its not like taking an exam and getting results--the end of this is somewhat open ended! I think people just do not understand the whole process--and perhaps there is something about a PhD that is mystifying from afar...


for my masters which took a long time, i just told everyone "in two years". and then (sometimes) i added "you know, i say that everytime some asks, as it is such a dumb question, so you get a dumb answer"


Well people can't really win here as I think they don't know what else to say about what we're doing but want to show some interest. It's the same when you are pregnant - people constantly ask when it's due and by the end you cannot stand it. Hmm and there's that same escalating feeling of wanting to get it over with but then worrying about what will come next....


it could be worse! the people asking when you'll submit could be:
- your external because he wants to book his holidays
- your new boss because he wants you to start
- and the immigration people who want to know when you'll enter their country.

All that on top of family members who have a knack of saying things to tip you over the edge

Deep Joy


When people used to ask me "when will you finish" I always found the enigmatic answer "When its done" usually sufficed.

Apart from my supervisor who heard "well, i reckon in 3 months time if you release the funding for X,Y,Z". I tell you, that 3 months was the longest three months he has ever had to wait.


the worst thing is when fellow phd students in their first year ask you when you are submitting. they live with the fantasy that doing a phd is a linear process in which everything goes smoothly. what do you say to them?


speaking of first years living in a fantasy (no offence to first years on this forum, i went to a seminar a couple of weeks ago and there was this first year who kept asking questions about fact rather than argument. and they went on and on. trust me, by the time they get to second year, they will no longer be speaking at seminars, they will have arrived in the world of research. lol. good memories of first year innocence.


Noone asks me when I'll finish - rather they ask so 'have you finished yet?' and 'are you a Dr yet' and 'you've finsihed haven't you!' It really annoys me as right now I'm bang on 3.5 years and due to submit the full draft at the end of May. Grrr!


Well technically I've not finished
I submitted bang on 4 years, took 5 months to get my viva
and I now have a month to do the corrections (still a work in progress).
So up to now 4.5 years
Then there's graduation which will be at least Summer


calm down, guys! they are just being polite, I don't mind people asking about this, just tell them I am not sure, I will my best. most of the people don't mean to annoy you. Remember, enjoy the PhD, no matter what..


It's not enjoyable.

Unless you are masochistic.


I used this answer for undergraduate, masters and am now starting to use if for PhD
Them: what are you going to do when you finish?
Me: get very drunk. (With deadpan face of seriousness. No longer term options offered in the silence which follows )

Freaks my Gran out something chronic!