Word Counts, Reading Lists, and No Sleep

In honor of the beginning of my final year as a doctoral student I thought it would be nice to summarize the signs and symptoms of life as a PhD student. Enjoy (again).

You know that you are a PhD student when:

1. You contemplate enlisting in the US Army (or in my case re-enlisting) because 4 hours of sleep in basic training beats the countless “all-nighters” you pull working on projects, mock comp exams, and the ever-annoying discussion post.

2. Speaking of discussion posts…why God? Why?

3. You feel guilty watching TV or reading non-academic work because you know that you are wasting precious research hours.

4. However, you do not feel guilty binge watching Netflix and Hulu because your ability to watch 4 seasons of a show in 3 days is nothing more than an application of your fine-tuned research skills. I watched 9 seasons of Seinfeld in 6 weeks this summer. Boom.

5. You have a hate/hate relationship with Chicago Style and the APA. Also, you use proper in-text citations in Facebook status updates.

6. You read 1-2 books and 30 journal articles a week and write almost 10,000 words a month. You have zero tolerance for people who say, “I don’t have time to read.”

7. You have contemplated slapping an undergraduate student for complaining about the stress of earning a degree while working a full-time job. Also, you have actually slapped a student for the aforementioned offense.

8. You wasted 5 minutes reading a colleague’s discussion post only to discover that they didn’t come remotely close to answering the discussion question. You want your 5 minutes back!

9. You cannot comprehend “work hours” since you basically never stop working.

10. You have a mini-stroke when someone asks you, “So what are you going to do with your PhD?” You know deep inside the answer falls somewhere between: “Be smarter than you,” “Be your boss,” “Work in a field that does not require an advanced degree,” “Take over the world,”and “I have no idea.”

11. You find the “gaps” in every argument you read or hear.

12. You use words like “ontological”, “pericope”, and “hermeneutic phenomenology” in everyday conversation. Also, you are a little depressed at the fact that you actually understand multivariate data analysis.

13. You know that you cannot make it without the support and sense of humor of your family and cohort!

This post is a modification of this post.

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