People, stop it!

OK, if you love me people, you’ll stop inviting me to your universities to do PHds.

I can’t afford it.
I don’t have the idea I need – sadly “ooh, I’d love to play around reading about online stuff for three years” doesn’t quite cut it as a PHd topic.
And most importantly I was in therapy by the end of the MSc. Literally. I’m not sure I’d be alive at the end of the PHd!

This doesn’t mean I don’t want to DO a PHd. As I’ve told Neko a lot lately, I’m very, very jealous of you people who can just do research as your 9-t0-5. I’d love to do a PHd. I just don’t think a PHd would love me.

So yes. Stop taunting me with your shiny new departments and old professors who’d like to work with me again. Stop it I tell you!

Or, if you insist on keeping on doing it, at least tell me that there’s oodles of funding and propose a topic for me 😛

20 thoughts on “People, stop it!

  1. OMG, why am I thinking about the same thing?! I’m still wrapping up my M.Sc. and frankly, I’m not very sure I’d like to do a Ph.D. immediately after graduation. I think I need a breather!!


  2. pelf – my problem is that I’ve had the break now. It’s been just over a year and I’m starting to get antsy again, missing the research and the academic life. Plus I’ve got a couple of good friends who are clearly having the most amazing time still working in the field doing their PHds.

    They keep telling me all these fun stories, reminding me what I’m missing… GAR!!!

    But I definitely recommend taking a break between MSc and even thinking about doing a PHd. My brain would have melted if I’d gone straight from one to the next.

  3. So, I’ve got this amazing offer for you. Would you like to come get your PhD? 😉
    I know the feeling. No one wants me to get my PhD or even a masters. I’ve got two friends working on their masters right now. One in Computer Science, the other in Advertising, and they keep trying to lure me into it. And I keep resisting. I was done with school my first year in college, heh. There’s no way I’d ever go back to school. I rather try to make money, than give it away in large bags.

  4. Welcome to Bright Meadow and the comments peroty 🙂

    I think part of (ok, most of) the problem is that I’m all too willing to be lured. I miss academia. I loved it and make no bones about it. Just… I can’t afford it 🙁

  5. Hi Cas,

    Just dropped by your blog via 9rules clubhouse, haven’t visited for ages. Like the new design. I’m currently doing a Phd, still in my first year and yes it’s every bit as tough as you imagine and I needed therapy after my BA and after my MA but now I’m slowly starting to figure out why I like studying. It’s taken this long. Now why that is I’d prefer to keep to myself for now. I’d say if you have the money and motivation go for it!

  6. Pffft…

    You would love it (mostly)… but the money thing is an issue….

    keep an eye one the Bournemouth website- they are funding about 30 students a year (fully- like me :))

    And I’ll leave you be…. but there is no reason not to get started in the mean time…

  7. if you need something to put you off, I’m in the room right next to you – need I say more?! Doing a PhD is possibly the worst idea I’ve ever had, but as I can’t think of a new one I’m still here.

  8. One of my mates from college has a PhD from Yale and he was telling me he got paid. Seems that’s the way with most of those folk… at least on this side of the pond.

  9. Andrew – welcome back and thank you for the compliments 🙂 It does keep coming back to money though. I really don’t think I can sponge off the parents for more education (they did say the MSc was the last)

    Neko – away you temptress, away I say! This is all your fault you know 😛

    Moose – you are indeed a salutory lesson and one that I (and my bank balance) are grateful for every day!

    Surly – yeah, there’s a difference between the States and the UK for PHd funding. In the UK pretty much anyone with the idea can do a PHd so long as they pay. Funded places are much, much rarer.

  10. Thanks for the welcome. 🙂
    I’ve been lurking awhile. hehe

    How can you miss academia? There’s nothing about college I enjoyed, except for the 4-day week and the ability to revert to my normal nocturnal schedule. 🙂 (OK, there were some good parts). LOL

  11. A lurker! Nooooo! 😉
    Well I’m glad you finally stuck your nose above the parapet and into the comments.

    And as for missing academia, I just do. I enjoyed my Masters immensely. I was lucky enough to be at a department that rocked my socks, with a supervisor who earned the Blog Name “godhead” many times over, and with a group of people who were just bubbling over with ideas, love and enthusiasm. It turns out that in my heart of hearts I’m a geek who just loves nothing more than sitting down with my friends, over a cup of tea or a pint, shooting the moon and reinventing the world whilst we’re at it.

    C’est moi.

  12. *delurks*

    Yeah, I miss the old MSc days as well. It was a good time in my life and I suppose this does make a PhD seem rather appealing to me sometimes. I was always really bad at turning my vaguely defined areas of interest into specific question though. ‘Something to do with colour’ is the most developed idea I have right now.

  13. Is the financial thing really the only problem? I’ve been working at a research centre in Cardiff and there are a lot of PhD students here. They don’t seem as poor as me (struggling MSc thesis writer cursing the course she has taken). They get teaching opportunities (which they’re getting paid for) and have scholarships. It’s not a lot but I think it’s more than you’d get as a regular student. IF you want to do it, find funding for it!
    I’m really struggling to write my master thesis with this utterly useless tutor in a different country (I’m writing it for a Dutch uni but have done my research here) and a boyfriend that got an Mplan without writing anything even remotely like a thesis. Grmble. Life is so unfair.
    Sorry about my rant – I’ll try to be a bit more modest next time 😉

  14. You can also see it in another light: they think you are an excellent researcher and thus an excellent PhD candidate. Whoohoo! This reverse thinking (making negatives positives) is new to me, as I am suffering from the same -I am writing my Master’s thesis and I love it and hate it at the same time right now – syndrom.

    Cas: Your Masters sounds exactly like my masters. Pretty much everyone is (including the head of the department and my thesis supervisor):
    – enthousiastic
    – geeky:
    1) two people paired up to make a Whatever button for Firefox and we are currently thinking about developing a customized Firefox plugin
    2) Mozilla Firefox t-shirts, No I Won’t Fix Your Computer t-shirts fashion statements all over the place.
    – lovely
    – coffee addicted
    – in for a gathering/party outside of the academia

    I’m really going to miss it. But hey, I’m not done yet 🙂

  15. To all those who think there is funding for PhDs in the UK – it depends on the subject. I spent a lot of time looking for funding for mine and there is nothing out there (no maintenance grants anyway, plenty of travel grants). I also did some teaching, which is really well paid, £36 per hour – except the contract was for 24 hours of teaching over a 5 month period. I got about £140 a month after tax.
    If you want funding it helps if:
    a) your subject is in the physical sciences (mine isn’t), and
    b) you get a distinction in your Masters (I didn’t)

    So please stop claiming that there’s loads of funding because you’re just depressing me 🙁

  16. Hey Moose,

    I know that funding sucks in the Humanities… I’m really lucky in that my uni are trying to build a research community and knows there is a lack in this area, so they pay us and make it a proper living wage so we can get on and produce good work.

    I don’t know of many Uni’s that do this and you have much hugs, tea and sympathy from this quarter!

  17. Spooky! *hugs* And that’s all I have to say on the matter 🙂 – Tell you what, I’ll do a PHd if you do a PHd.

    Renee – it’s good to see you are still alive. Don’t let that thesis grind you down! It will all be over soon and trust me, there IS life after an MSc, and it’s GOOD life. But feel free to rant all you want as I remember all too well what that final push is like.

    And yes, there is funding available for PHd’s, but as Moose and Neko have already said, not so much for the Humanities. Plus, the whole “archaeological computing” field is kinda new territory and there aren’t a lot of scholarships set up for it yet! Makes for good research but lousy funding.

    Anne – I’d like to think they think I’m an excellent researcher, but somehow I think I’m better described as “average”. It’s not the ideas that let me down, it’s the actually getting them down onto the page. But the more I think about it, the more that doesn’t matter. I just want to go back to my department and work with everyone again *sniff* It was my academic ‘home’.

  18. Amen to that.

    I miss it loads too… and I was there 7 years, not your one-and-a-bit.

    Still, everyone keeps telling me that staying in one dept. can be bad for your career…. and they a) don’t have the swanky geophys kit (even if they do have the ultra-swanky comupting lab) and b) don’t have the scholarship scheme I’m on….

    Planning some kind of BBQ when my 2nd year class mates are back for Graduation, and maybe trying to get together my first year mates to meet them… (funny how I still think of myself as ‘your’ year, even tho I have studied alongside 3 years worth of MSc students, 4 if you count Leif and Leomie who were still about from the previous year to ‘us’…………….)


    The only archaeologist in her office today 🙁

  19. Neko – get organizing that BBQ! I’ve been craving incinerated chicken lately, and I think I’ve still got some mate lurking in the cupboard, so it will be like old times.

    And I think of you as my year as well. I think it’s because that’s when we started. Also because we kicked ass and no other year could EVA compare to us 😉

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