Academia: Expectation Vs Reality
"Work-life balance is when you drink and write at the same time."
Expectation: As a student, you'll learn the secrets of the universe in inspiring lecture halls and grand old libraries.
Reality: You learn how to pass exams and where the best place is to sleep in the library.
Expectation: During your PhD you'll make a real, significant contribution to humanity's understanding of the world.
Reality: You spend three years trying to make your experiment work, then scramble together a thesis once your funding runs out.
Expectation: While you write up your thesis, you'll work in a different coffee shop or library each day to keep things interesting.
Reality: You binge-watch a different programme each day to avoid doing work as long as possibly can.
Expectation: When you get your PhD, you'll garner more respect from peers as you're now a "Dr".
Expectation: Once you finish your PhD, you'll be the leading expert in the world in your particular sub-sub-sub-field.
Expectation: As a lecturer, you'll inspire the next generation of scientists in your classes.
Expectation: In your research, you'll work at the cutting edge of your field and make exciting, groundbreaking discoveries.
Reality: You'll spend 99% of your time getting nowhere and wondering why nothing works.
Expectation: When you submit a paper for peer review, you'll receive clear, constructive, and thoughtful feedback from your peers.
Reality: Sometimes they will give you great feedback. Sometimes they will give you this:
Expectation: You'll publish your work in a timely manner and watch as science progresses in front of your eyes.
Expectation: You'll go to conferences in far-flung destinations and stay in luxury hotels.
Reality: You will go to one dream location, but you spend the entire time in an air-conditioned conference room. All of the other conferences you go to will be in Hull.
Expectation: You'll be able to balance your work and home life seamlessly.
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