The difficult second year – week 56

PhD Life

I have sensed a change in my approach and attitude towards writing these pieces. A year ago, almost everything I was doing was fresh, and therefore, interesting for me to write about. Now, an equilibrium has been reached where my PhD work feels normal and normal is not interesting to me.

I believe that I have gone through some sort of writers phase change. The period in which it was fairly easy to get the motivation to write has passed, and now it is a matter of discipline. I am not quite sure how things will change, but I sense they will.

Perhaps this is something everyone goes through with their projects. The transition from the easily motivated to the wilful discipline stage probably has some sort of academic field of study that I am not aware of, and you will be screaming at me in the comment section about the name of this phenomenon.

So, while I try and figure out what I can do next, I will try and talk about what is actually going on now. Next week, Thursday to be precise, I have my confirmation viva. I am not scared yet, but knowing my track record with exams, the day before will be interesting. As I have spoken about this ad infinitum, I shall move on.

On Friday, we had a department night out. Sixty-nine of us went for a game of bowling where I came second, and for a game of laser quest where I came fifth. Both times I was on the winning team. Now, I do not necessarily care about winning, but it just so happens that I used to be quite good at bowling, so I was being quite competitive with this. The laser Quest was much more light-hearted and fun, something that when it comes to competitive people is quite often hard to achieve.

From the night the biggest thing I took away from it was how amazing the person who organised it was. She did it all herself, for no reason other than bringing the department together. This is something I would never want the responsibility of.

Organisation is one of the things I hate the most about doing a PhD and just generally in life. Having to rely on other people Is scary and something I try and avoid. It also can breed a lot of frustration as more often than not, the people you’re relying on do not care about the objective as much as you.

I have a lot of respect for people that enjoy organising events, big or small, and my girlfriend is one of those people. However, I am not one of those people, and I am quite sure I never will be. I assume most people are not the type to organise these kinds of events; otherwise, they would happen with a much greater frequency, rather than just around holidays.

Anyway, I’m off I need to go and meet with my new bowling coach, and prepare for next year, as 2nd is not good enough!*

*This is a joke

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

6 thoughts on “The difficult second year – week 56

  1. I think you are right about writing becoming a discipline. But you also have to consider what purpose it serves you and whether it is a priority. Certainly if writing has served it’s purpose, then you have achieved something.
    Writing with honesty and authenticity is not always easy. Your posts certainly show that you have developed these attributes in your writing. The decision is now why you want to keep writing. Fodder for your next post. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Holy. First of all, second out of 69? That is pretty impressive. Next, I want to say I love your appreciation for the organizer, for your girlfriend and perhaps most of all your objective observations of all things in general.

    “I assume most people are not the type to organise these kinds of events; otherwise, they would happen with a much greater frequency, rather than just around holidays.” This observation rings true and actually gives me hope. I too don’t like to organize things. I have organized some things in the past anyway, and I wasn’t sure if they were appreciated nor “perfect” so I eventually gave up since they felt like too much of an energy drain for the organizer. Your observation makes me want to organize some things again. It is nice to get people together now and then regardless of whether it’s perfect.


  3. Yeah, halfway through my PhD, I started writing fanfiction because it was a low-stakes, positive-feedback kind of writing that offset the more serious exam study and dissertation. I found that having a creative and a professional project made me a better writer overall, and that if I got stuck with the one I could always switch to the other for a bit. It helps that my fandom is really writer-centric, so it was also a support system that became so important that I mentioned them in my dissertation acknowledgments, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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