I thought that given it's very easy to get motivated, it might be quite nice to start thinking about things we enjoy about doing a PhD (not necessarily 'for the love of my subject' type things)....
SO I'll set the ball rolling:
1. I love that I can sit at my desk with freshly cut flowers, looking out of the window onto farmland on a beautiful sunny day, drinking a cup of coffee -- and knowing that I can go for a walk in the sun later, at whatever time I want.
The best thing is being able to organise my time and work when my brain's fresh and chillax when it's not! Also I love having access to wonderful libraries and being able read up on any subject I'm interested in, whenever I want, whether it's to do with my PhD or not.
Hehe I'm very lucky, we live in a cottage rent-free on my in-laws farm in Bedfordshire. I don't drive so there are disadvantages (i.e. being isolated) but it's lovely to be able to have all this space to go on long walks! We even have a bluebell wood!! Believe me, I realise how fortunate I am -- when I did my undergrad I lived in a series of mice-infested houses in Brixton!!!
My other (and completely different) favourite place to work is the British Library!
Ohh Pamplemousse I live in Bedfordshire or there abouts (Bletchley).
Hmm nice to have a lie in now and then :), the chance to get out into the fresh air and go for a jog is nice aswell.
Also being a masochist :) nothing beats the torture and turmoil of doing some work that is killing you only in the end to defeat it in a blaze of glory :) *cough* ahem.
For me it is generally in the computer coding part :D
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i like the feeling of being in my own little bubble, where no one (sometimes not even me :p) understands what on earth i am doing! and i don't mean that in a big-headed way, just that my topic is pretty obscure, even to other people in my dept!
I love the way I can spend ages thinking about ideas, sometimes really obscure things like Smoobles said, and they're actually useful for something!! It sort of validates my previously possibly slightly aimless mental meanderings and when other people like them too then it's rather wonderful. If all that turns into a decent career eventually then I'll be a very happy person!
I like being able to take a 2 hour lunch break so I can go for a run. And not having to officially book time off work.
Yup, the freedom to arrange your work time as you want is the best thing but working like this is a skill! I know so many people who just wouldn't bother to put the hours in. But I like that I WANT to put the hours in because I am doing what I really want to do.
The feeling of success when you suddenly see you're getting somewhere. And the fact that when I'm ill (like the last two days) I can get on with getting myself better without having to justify it to anyone! By the way, I'm truly envious of your desk: mine is fine but it faces a wall and I spend much of the day looking at the Greek Keyboard Layout diagram pinned to the noticeboard. Oh and if only there were room for flowers...!
Towards the end, being treated like a peer by your supervisor, academics at conferences etc. Not having a mind that goes blank, but that feeling of confidence that you can hold your own and you have something important to contribute.
I have a beautiful view when sat in my chair, if i arrange myself right all I can see are trees, sky and sun (if I stand up I se the bl##dy great carpark between me and the distant trees mind!)
My favourite thing about doing a phd is that you arrange your own time, come in when I want, leave when I want etc. I can spend an afternoon shopping if I need to (yeah sometimes you do need to shop!) Oh and student discount cards are pretty nice too.
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