I discovered a graduate student comic strip called PhD – Piled Higher & Deeper. And I couldn’t help laughing…
Graduate student life is certainly a world of its own… the challenges, the stress… all of which can only be fully understood by other graduate students. I’m one of the very lucky ones already, since I don’t have any problems so far with supervisor and thesis committee members *fingers crossed*.
There is one universal question that PhD students loathe – “When will you finish?” Sometimes accompanied by “Shouldn’t you be finishing soon?” I can’t begin to describe the feeling that comes when I hear those questions. I want to laugh, I want to cry… I think of ALL that needs to be explained in order for my interlocutor to get the landscape of what I’m doing… I decide it’s not worth the effort and time and just reply with, “Yah, it’s coming… should be done sometime next year…”
Seriously though, the only time a PhD student is happy to hear that question is when they have just their last chapter to write, or when they’ve already scheduled their oral defence. And when that time comes around, believe me, you won’t have to ask me… I’ll tell you that I’m finishing!