Featured ‘day in the life of’: Andrea, English PhD student

The third featured ‘day in the life of’ post is from Andrea who created the blog http://researchandramblings.blogspot.com.au/

A day in the life of Andrea (English PhD Student):

Hello everyone! I’m Andrea, a 4th year PhD student studying English (Writing, Rhetorics and Literacies) at Arizona State University. My research focuses on fashion rhetoric, material culture, and feminist rhetoric. Previous projects have included an analysis of the clothing worn by Bond Girls in the James Bond films and the beauty community on YouTube. I’m in the process of getting my dissertation prospectus approved and am hoping to be a PhD candidate by the end of the term. In addition to my school work I also blog and run a YouTube channel where I talk about beauty products, shopping, traveling, school, life, etc. It keeps me very busy but has turned into a great record of my life over this past year and has allowed me to connect to a bunch of other grad students from around the world.


8:30am – Being a Wednesday the first thing I do when I wake up is drag my laptop into bed and start uploading the weekly vlog from the previous week. Mornings are usually pretty slow for me. Having Fibromyalgia means every day is different. 8:30am might be pretty late in the morning for some but it’s the earliest I can usually manage.

9:17am – This particular morning I had a webinar that I was participating in that a friend, Belinda Laurie, was doing on her blog. This made the morning a little easier, as I was able to wake up a bit more slowly. I took notes while having breakfast in bed and listening to Belinda.

10:20am – Webinar over and video upload complete, I’ve now put on my makeup and got ready for the day ahead. For a grad student I have more makeup than I should but I make no apologies.


11:53am – By now the day is in full swing. I’ve just finished my 11am therapy session. I wish I could say I’ve got this whole life/PhD student thing down solid and my mental health is in perfect shape but I would be lying to you if I did. Therapy is what keeps the imposter syndrome at bay and helps me stay focused on the work I need to do.

12:14pm – Ok, made it through the Starbucks drive thru (which is usually popular at this time of day) and got some snacks for the road, a banana nut bread and an iced latte with almond milk. It’s time to make the 30 minute drive to my university campus, so caffeine and a snack is needed.


12:51pm – I’ve been studying in this building for six years now, two for my Masters and now four for my PhD. We’ll be moving the department to a new building in the fall and I’m going to miss being in this building. But now it’s time for a meeting with my dissertation advisor. My prospectus is currently out for review by my committee members so in the meantime I’ve arranged a meeting with my advisor to discuss the prospectus and the colloquy. I’m nervous but excited for the colloquy. It’s a big deal in our program, this is when we finally reach ABD status (all but dissertation) and officially become PhD Candidates. Really looking forward to earning candidacy, it’s been a long road to get to this point.

1:53pm – Meeting done and I’ve also run up to the fifth floor to turn in a form to be able to register for dissertation credits in the fall, now I’m back in my office. I’m trying to prepare in advance for the building move and clear out my office before summer officially arrives in Arizona. Right now it’s been in the 80s/low 90s (Fahrenheit) so I’m trying to bring everything home before the triple digit temps arrive.


3:12pm – Finally back home and my Sephora Play! subscription box has arrived. I always open these on camera for my YouTube channel so my subscribers can see my first reaction to the products. So I grab my Olympus Pen E-PL7 and set it up on the tripod to film the unboxing.

4:07pm – Filming done and it’s time to get some work done. My task list varies every day. Today I’ve got some work to do for a class I’m taking that has us prepare our teaching portfolios. Then some grading to do for the professional writing class I teach.

4:52pm – I get the portfolio and grading done quickly but decide to keep working for a little bit longer. I spend some time reading one of the books I ordered recently to help with my dissertation. This one is about the collection of clothing worn by American First Ladies owned by the Smithsonian. Two of my research subjects are First Ladies, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Michelle Obama.

5:59pm – Finally my brain is done and my back is killing me so I heat up a frozen pizza (glamorous) and grab a can of hard cider (my special treat) and retreat to my bed to watch YouTube videos, first up is one by Lydia E. Millen that had me squealing in delight when she toured the Bath Fashion Museum.


8:55pm – Several YouTube videos later, I’m now on to Fleur de Force (one of my faves) and painting my nails.

10:58pm – I aim to get to bed by 11pm, that let’s me get up at 8am but still have about 9 hours of sleep. With fibro, the more sleep I can get at night the better, so 9 hours really is the best amount for me. I started a new book tonight, but only got one chapter in before I really needed to turn out the light.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Andrea’s day, and don’t forget to check out her blog and youtube channel. We are looking forward to the next featured day in the life of post!

1 Comment »

Leave a Reply