Struggling with a PhD degree can be difficult. For some, it’s the financial burden, while for others, it’s the emotional struggle of knowing you won’t get the results you need to get there. If you’re considering a doctorate, or if you’ve already started and are having doubts, these struggles and others may help you to decide whether pursuing a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is right for you.
A PhD degree isn’t easy. There are many struggles that come with this degree, and many things that can go wrong. But the best way to go through all of it is to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.
Prospects of a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) Degree:
The idea of a doctoral PhD degree is glamorous. You spend years researching and exploring your passions, often at the library. University crosschecks your work, and you get to study abroad and meet students from around the world.
- In reality, it’s not quite like that. First, there’s the process of finding funding for the degree itself. A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) aspirant’s fees are taken care of by the university, but other expenses like health insurance and stipends for living expenses aren’t generally covered.
- You have to find external funding to cover these costs, which can be difficult if you’re not exactly sure what you’re interested in researching or what kind of doctorate you want to pursue.
- A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) often involves multiple disciplines and can feel very isolating. It’s not uncommon for a dissertation to span several subjects and for a student to take time away from their research to learn about subjects outside their expertise. This requires students to immerse themselves in unfamiliar topics and ideas, which can be intimidating.
- The pressure of a PhD lasts long after the dissertation. Even once they’ve graduated, many students do post-doctoral work before they can go on.
- If you’re reading this and thinking, “PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)? That sounds like a huge pain in the butt,” your instincts are right.
- A doctoral Ph.D. degree is a long-term commitment that takes at least seven years to complete, and it’s not an easy road.
If you’re thinking about it, you’re probably already aware of the many reasons for pursuing a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy): prestige, increased earning potential, intellectual fulfillment, and so on.
But here are some things you might not have considered:
You’ll spend more time writing than anything else. This is likely true for some areas of academic study, but it’s especially true in the humanities and social sciences. Writing is what will get you through grad school alive.
The bulk of the time that you spend on a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree involves making corrections to drafts not writing them in the first place.
You’ll be producing a thesis or dissertation that’s between 100,000-200,000 words, that’s longer than most books!
Even if you don’t plan on turning your dissertation into a book one day (which some people do), you’ll still be producing writing at this length that meets certain standards of quality, which means putting in the hours to revise over and over again until it reads like the final Doctorate.
As a doctoral student, one of the most daunting tasks is the prospect of writing and thinking and thinking and thinking. And reading, reading and reading. And researching and researching & researching. In short, it’s a lot to do, too much at times, when you’re overwhelmed with trying to keep up with all the things that are due or that come up in your research.
The pressure to perform can be overwhelming at times, and it can be easy to get lost in an all-consuming quest to discover something new.
There’s a saying that if you want something done right (in this case, finishing your thesis), do it yourself—but be warned that this strategy has its own pitfalls.
One problem is that while you’re working on your own project, the other projects of your peers might seem like they’re moving much more quickly than yours is progressing; when it seems like everyone else is racing ahead in their work while yours isn’t getting done fast enough, it can cause anxiety about how well you’re doing as a researcher or how “good” of a researcher you really are.
The bottom line: If you have trouble keeping up with the demands of your PhD degree program, you might want to consider some online writing support. Aimlay has the best thesis writing team, conclusive of expert writers who have proven their work all this time.
If it is any consolation, you are not alone. Most, if not all graduate students, question whether or not they are ready to do the work they do. All they know is that a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree is something clever people pursue. When you finally are at that starting point, you keep waiting for the time when you start feeling clever. But soon you will come to the haunting realization that it will never happen. What is scarier is that you actually start to become paranoid about the possibility that the university might, for some reason, withhold your doctorate degree come graduation day.
Don’t forget to take a break!
As a side effect, you cannot stop studying. You find yourself looking for something to study next. You do not mind living in a tiny, single-bedroom apartment as long as you get to have the entire space for yourself. After all, you are to show commitment to your studies. You even bring papers to read to bed.
After thinking about your research all day and all night, you end up dreaming about it. If you are lucky, you make amazing discoveries while in deep slumber. The uncontrollable drive to study is something you should take advantage of. But do not forget to take a break – for your personal life and your health.