25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

What is a “weekend”?

1. Telling children you’re in the 25th grade.

ID: 1497094

2. It’s been at least 10 years since you had a “real” weekend.

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3. Realizing your vocabulary is permanently scattered with words like “problematic” and “ontological” and “hegemony.”

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4. Coming up with all of your good ideas in the shower…

…and no good ideas during your oral defense.

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5. Going to parties and everyone’s just standing around talking about their research.

…because none of you are in touch with pop culture in the slightest.

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6. When your undergrads ask constantly, “Is this going to be on the exam?”

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7. Your average dinner is a bag of frozen vegetables topped with leftover shredded cheese and hot sauce.

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8. When someone claims that being in a doctoral program isn’t “the same thing as having a real job”:

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9. Trying to date another Ph.D. student:

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10. Unironically referring to the library or the lab as “home.”

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11. …and feeling ultra-guilty anytime you try to relax.

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12. Finding an old paper you wrote your first year of grad school:

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13. Realizing where most of your stipend went.

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14. When master’s degree students complain about their workload, you’re just like:

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15. Trying to make non-academic small talk with your advisor at a reception:

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16. When all of your colleagues are married, and you’re just like:

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17. Feeling some degree of “impostor syndrome” at least once a day.

…as in, you’re just waiting for someone to realize that they made a HUGE mistake letting you into your program and to swiftly kick you out.

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18. When someone asks you for the 357th time what your dissertation is about:

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19. How you feel when your annual conference is in Hawaii:



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… versus Rochester:

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20. Seeing someone on your dissertation committee outside of school:

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21. Grading your undergrads’ papers:

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22. When someone asks how “writing” is going:

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23. Trying to say something romantic to your significant other after a long day of coursework:

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24. Explaining to your friends with 9-to-5 jobs why you can’t go out on Friday night.

ID: 1497476

25. When ANYONE asks you what your plan is after you graduate:

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