So last week my friend invited me over to his place to celebrate a momentous occasion. He has just gotten his PhD! There for food and drinks, and lots of alcohol. It didn’t get wild or anything but it was nice to see friends over and just reminiscing about the good old days and how my friend struggled during the 5 years he spent in completing his PhD programme.
After proof-reading his thesis, I must say, he did struggle during his PhD candidature. What was shocking to me was when he revealed over drinks that he considered several times of actually quitting the programme completely. I was that much of a struggle for him, a struggle that I just wasn’t aware of. Now I know my friend. He is the kind of wouldn’t simply give up. He is patient yet tenacious, with a keen eye for detail for anything that is in front of him. He was an intense level of curiosity when something really did pique his interest, and he will investigate it till the ends of the earth. But to see him on the edge and fantasizing about quitting the programme, that is just not him.
Well, I am glad he did not. He made it through safe and sound and with a PhD to boot. I am so happy for him. I am also really honoured that he chose me to proofread his PhD thesis. It was a joy to read someone’s blood sweat and tears, the sacrifices he had to make during the five years as a PhD student all distilled in a couple hundred pages.
I may never experience what life is like doing your PhD, but what I do know, is that you need a sheer amount of tenacity, resilience, patience, and lots and lots of hard work, with an incredible network of support from your family and friends to get through the programme to really earn your PhD.