PhD Survival Guide; Thoughts every PhD Student has in their first year

1.Situation: Looking at timeline/goal sheets

“Oh look, there goes another deadline

2. Situation: When meeting someone new and they ask you what you do for work

“Please don’t ask me to explain what a PhD is, nodding and agreeing (even though you have no idea) is sufficient

3. Situation: When working in the office with colleagues

“Remember not to ask anyone what they are working on today, or how their [PhD / publication / experiment] is going. This is a safe space and they will bring it up if they want to

4. Situation: In the middle of the night

“Yes that is the exact sentence I should start my piece of writing with (the one I couldn’t think of all day!)

5. Situation: Sitting at desk early the next morning

“What was that sentence again?

6. Situation: When something has gone wrong for the 6th time in one hour

“Why exactly am I doing a PhD?

7. Situation: When going to a meeting or networking event with multiple important academics

“This is it, this is the moment everyone realises I am an imposter and I should have never been given the opportunity to do a PhD

8. Situation: Going to a seminar

“Will there be food?

9. Situation: When it is 9pm and your still working

“Having caffeine at night is bad, right?

10. Situation: When re-reading your work for editing

“What is this? I can not even understand it”


“I must be JK Rowling, because I can write”

(there is no in-between

11. Situation: When you run your statistics and find nothing interesting

“…why exactly am I doing a PhD again?”

Click here to downloads this week’s PDF. A place for you to jot down your PhD thoughts. 

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