Five Things I Wish I had Known Before Starting My PhD

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19 Responses

  1. Margaret says:

    Fortunately I disvovered that having a PhD wasnt the be all end all degree two semesters into it. I am happily teaching sociology at a community college with mh Masters and dont regret for one second not finishing the PhD.

    • George Byrne says:

      I think that is the right decision for a lot of people. I think a lot of people stick at it just because they feel like they should and end up making themselves miserable in the process. Where you have no regrets, I am sure there are a lot of people who regret counting longer than they should have! Thanks so much for reading and for your comment.

  2. Timothy John Lee-lewis says:

    Hey George
    I get where you are coming from. For me, 3 years down and 3 to go. I do feel lost sometimes and want to run away a lot of the time (especially in this third year). I just keep thinking and doing like a calculator/robot. I’ve only realized this year, a balance has to be met or I become unproductive and unsociable. Those closest are the most important, loved ones and family. Surprisingly they are my inspiration to battle the learning game. Without them I would be in a quagmire of gloom. I think that when I finish, if I can change and make a difference to just one persons life for a better future, it would have been worth it. I think you are capable of changing for the better a lot more than you think you can. Good luck buddy. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

    • George Byrne says:

      Hi Tim! How are you enjoying Portsmouth? I din’t even know you had started a PhD? What subject? And is it 6 years because it is part time? I am really glad you could relate to this post. We will have to meet up and start a PhD survivors group when I get back to the UK 🙂

  3. deepanshi says:

    hi george,
    i can totally relate to what all you wrote. but luckily its been only 3 months i started my PhD , so i am taking up your advice very seriously now. I hope you complete your research work soon.Thanks for the interesting yet scary post..


    • George Byrne says:

      Hi Deepanshi,

      I am glad you found this useful and interesting. It wasn’t supposed to scary, though! I hope you are enjoying your research.


  4. Bhumika says:

    Hey writer, you better should be writing a blog than doing a Ph.d. I am at the same cross roads as you are. And while I read through your narration, I felt I was reading my own story..every bit of it. Only while I went through the experience in person it was not as joyful but your writing was.. I giggled at occasions, laughed at others, and happily empathized with your every word. Thank you, for taking out time to write.

    • George Byrne says:

      Bhumika, Wow! I am so glad that it was something you could identify with. It can be such an isolating experience. It is so good to know that other people understand how it feels. It makes it a bit less overwhelming. Thank you for reading it and thank you for your comment.


  5. Joski byrne says:

    This has been one of the most difficult journeys of of our lives but I am so proud of you. In the words of Bon Jovi – Keep the Faith!

  6. ida says:

    ‘No, your thesis won’t bring about a global revolution, but it can have a profound impact on you and maybe even on a few other people.’ i like this!!

  7. pthrelfall says:

    This is just what I needed to read as I am taking my mental break from dissertation writing at 1:19 am. I WILL get those revised chapters to my advisor by the time the sun rises and she is taking her kids to school, and I WILL figure out why my writeup is missing a “key finding” that I’ve overlooked…but in the meantime, it’s good to know that as I sit at my lonely desk with the deafening silence that tells me everyone within a 2 mile radius of me is soundly sleeping, somehow, I am not alone. Thanks.

    • George Byrne says:

      So glad I could help a little. Those late nights working away on your own can be a lonely place. Hope you got the chapters in and that you have managed to get some sleep!

  8. Alazar says:

    First and foremost thank you for your great job. Further, i didn’t read each line of your texts but am just try to scaning. To be honest your writing is very helpful and important. Hopefully, it will have good contribution in this sensitive world. To sum up just keep it up doing!

    • George Byrne says:

      Thanks for your comment! I am really glad you liked it. There is so much great stuff out there to read, so don’t feel bad about scanning. I scan almost everything I read. I really appreciate your feedback. I will do my best to keep it up!

  9. sabil says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am PhD student of Nankai University China and my working title is (Comparative Study of Quality Education at Universal Primary Education Level in two Different Countries (China and Pakistan)now i want your help to discuss some issues and to share experiences during writing my paper ,hope you will give me your precious time and energy to share this .My detailed CV is attached to overview my personality and experiences.
    Waiting for your reply.
    Thanks ,

  10. Rafael Jorge says:

    Many thanks George,

    I’m about to finish my PhD project and at this time a lot of unmotiveting things cone into my mind. The biggest fight is against ourselves. Your words made me fell much better and confident in many ways, so
    thanks a lot!!!

  11. Paul says:

    Thanks for sharing. I have to get back on track to completing my doctorate. I have already published. Just need to do the search work to complete. Every blessing

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