Wenx’ World: The Damage

We all know a PhD is not a walk in the park. In fact, I’ve heard the description “Walk through the Valley of Shit“.

And only if we make it through it, we might take away that academic title. But what damage are we doing to ourselves on the journey? Let me give you a few ideas of what what risks we expose ourselves to:

  1. Obesity Frustration may lead to overeating. Procrastination may lead to overeating. Chewing increases concentration periods. Chocolate keeps you happy and why not add sugar to your 3rd cappucino. And while we happily digest we don’t have much time to exercise. We might get to a point where the door frame won’t allow us to leave the office anymore. OMG, do they deliver coffee to offices?
  2. Isolation How are we supposed to meet people, partners or friends when we spend the days isolated at this asylum called uni, in labs, archives, studios or lonely offices. How are we supposed to be social when you get home somewhat frustrated, stress and tired and still you’re trying to squeeze some exercise into your day before you crash. Just to be back in the office in about 10 hours…
  3. Anorexia If all this stress keeps going on, the PhD is eating up my time, the supermarket only opens at 8am, but closes at 9pm, I won’t ever eat enough. Or even if I make it to the supermarket – I do not feel like cooking after a long day. Not even to mention that worries beat appetite.
  4. Hearing Impairment I share my office with another 11 PhD students. They are all very nice and, surprisingly, it’s usually ok. Just… every now and then it’s soo much chatting / phoning / undergrads in the office that the only way for me to block out the noise is to listen to music. To loud music.
  5. Alcoholism Yes, I have to admit I have a tiny bottle of tequila stashed at my desk for severe emergency. May it never come! But in case it does, I will be prepared. While lady Redux advised “Morning drinking is good for your health“, I am not hesitant to have a drink in the evening to calm me down and finalise the day. Wining instead of whining. AND not to mention those times, when we office people head out for a cheer-us-up afternoon coffee and end up at frustation-jug uni bar… Alcoholism might lead to alcoholic insanity (the state of being unable to refuse a drink) and that again might lead to…
  6. Psychoses Of course, we will all end up psycho. No question! Frustration, disappointment, mixed supervisional messages, isolation, the money worry, lacking support, freaky software, naughty computers, whingeing undergrads, another form to fill out, the list is loong…

I reckon we will end up as fat lonely deaf alcoholics who really need a shrink.

See you in therapy – Wenx