Thoughts every* PhD student has…

*Obviously as I always say I can not speak on behalf of ALL PhD students, but I needed to make the title dramatic.

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 chapter 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 sure can write”

(there is no in-between)

11. Situation: When your supervisor asks when your {draft/chapter/PhD} will be finished

“*internally cries*”

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

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


But really we know a PhD was the right decision and it will all be worth it in the end!



  1. Awesome! I can surely recognise most of it from my own life.

    I love your blog with all your tips and the “day in the life of…”. I would love to show your readers one of my days! I’m a Swedish PhD candidate in human geography. Could I do that?

  2. Haha exactly what I needed today! Having one of those days where I don’t know what I’m doing. Happy my colleagues don’t ask me how it’s going haha

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