7 things you didn’t know about PhD students

1) We know exactly what we want to do after our PhD.

Of course we don’t. That’s why we are doing PhDs in the first place. This is just a way to postpone the final decision for another 3, 4, 5 etc. years. Maybe we’ll know by then. If we don’t…well, there’s always post-doc.

2) We is very smart.

Most people are afraid to talk to a PhD student just because they think they’ll use fancy language and make you feel stupid. We only use fancy language in our dissertations and even then we don’t know what half of it means ourselves.

3) We like talking about our research.

I beg you, when you are introduced to a PhD student, don’t let your first question be “So, what is your research about?” Although you think it’s a good icebreaker, we hate that question. We can talk about other stuff, you know. Ask me about football, Nigel Farage, the weather, what colour the dress is (black and blue, obviously), anything.

4) We have good time management skills.

Yes, we never procrastinate. That is why I am writing this post when I should be doing my research.

5) We only socialise with our own kind.

Some of my best friends here in Sheffield are undergraduates. Why? Because (see point 3), they don’t make me talk about my research. They accept me for who I am, a normal person. They do sometimes make fun of my age, though. So if you do get a chance, make friends with a PhD student, you’ll see we can have fun as well. And due to our extensive experience (i.e. age), we can handle our alcohol.

6) We are very focused on our research.

We work 16 hours a day and have no life. And on our computer screens only PhD-related stuff is turned on and not Facebook or, I don’t know, snooker, or Game of Thrones. Oh yeah, and pigs can fly.

7) PhDs are hard.

You got that right. They are freaking hard. I would say the hardest part of it is maintaining your motivation for 3-odd years. If you are considering doing a PhD, think really hard whether you want to sit in an office chair and do the same work over and over for 3 years or more. If you say yes, then think once again.

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