Wenx’ World: Red like Hate

Doing a PhD brings hard times. Everyone knows, it’s tough on the brain, it can be quite lonely, struggles with supervisors, fights with rats, hours in archives, nights staring at a screen. But when people talk about PhD problems, do they ever really consider the emotional load that comes with it? Yes, of course there is the motivation you have, the excitement for a new idea and the thrill you get from the acceptance of your first publication. But what about the bad stuff?

I know PhD students who struggle with being in a shared office, but also with doing home office, isolating them from social contact. Or others who struggle with connecting to their PhD fellows because they are too different from them: too young or too culturally different. And noone likes to be isolated…

Or there are emotions that seem to come and go like a sine curve crosses the abscissas: Frustration and depression caused by work or our work environment. Those feelings might lead to lethargy, dreading of research or even abstinence from work altogether.

For my part.. yes I am, despite being a quite rational physicist, emotional at times. And the feeling I have had this week was hate. Don’t worry, I am not planning any amok action, but I hated the software they make me use. I even sneaked in ‘I hate you’s into the code. And I hated my supervisors for making me use it. And I hated the unknown person who used my lab gear. And I hated the person who could help me with it but does not. And I hated myself for not bringing more chocolate to work.

They say you can overcome hate by being patient and accepting things. Ha! As if any of that is gonna solve my PhD project! For now… I have decided to give this whole thing a break. Maybe PhD time also teaches you to happily ignore problems for a little while. My body and my mind … we are outa here!

See you out there – Wenx