When I first starting blogging I wrote a post about why I choose to start a PhD (https://drofwhat.com/2016/06/01/why-a-phd/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true). I wrote this post when I was 6 months into my PhD and in the proposal stage of my research, so everything was still quite new. Now that I am (almost ‘half way’) I thought it was time that I reflected on my choice for starting a PhD and discuss whether it has lived up to my expectations.
I ended my previous post with:
“Going onto a start a PhD became an obvious next step, starting honours opened up the world of research and I realised that pursuing a career in research and academia combines the three careers I was tossing up in my first year: psychology, teaching, and journalism with my personal passions for animals and conservation (funny how the world works out, huh!).”
The idea of combining these passions is what made me excited about starting a PhD and luckily I can say that it has lived up to most of these expectations.
Although, I have not had teaching work yet (it is hard to come by at my university at the moment) I have had the opportunity to mark undergraduate students which, along with watching some of my friends enjoying teaching, has cemented my passion for academia.
I also believe that a PhD is still a great way for me to write (which is a passion of mine, hence the once desire to be a journalist). Although much of my writing so far has been proposals and research journals, I know that opportunities for more creative writing (e.g. chapters) will be coming up in the next year or so.
Finally, I still feel incredibly lucky to be able to study something that I am passionate about (Marine conservation) as my job, and I think that a PhD is one of the few ‘jobs’ that allows you to do something you are truly excited about.
Aside from these expectations, my PhD experience so far has been even more ‘filled’ than I had anticipated. I have immersed myself in a range of research and academic tasks (conducted presentations, joined a research events organisation committee, joined a conference organisation committee, and a range of other activities). All these experiences have shown me what I expecting, the world of a PhD is always changing, you are always doing different tasks, and always meeting new and interesting people. The downside to this however, is that you are very busy and perhaps the biggest surprise for me is that you actually spend so much time on all the other PhD related activities that there sometimes is not enough time for your own research.
Overall though, I have only became increasingly happy with my decision to start a PhD and it is strange looking back on the first post about why I choose to do a PhD, to see that so many of the reasons are still true now.