The truth about holidays for research toddlers {a.k.a. PhD students}

As a PhD student, I am almost one year old! Having started my research programme in late September last year, it basically means I am able to move a few steps on my own {= get in touch with professors without anyone’s blessing}, say gah-gah and da-da {= present at conferences, with the mandatory “I’d like to start by saying these are the preliminary results of my research…”}, and overall exasperate my supervisors with my messiness.

Additional similarities: I refuse to stay put. I want to be everywhere, talk to everybody, do everything.
Also, I never sleep through the night.


As of this week, I tried to impose a stationary status to myself. Because, well, I think my brain was melting and starting to woosh inside my skull.
And have I rested?
Hell no.
The first day, I met friends and we stayed up until 4 am.
The second day, I woke up sick. But I still left home for that mini-vacation, because dang it, I am only spending two days at the beach every four years, and I’ll stuff my body with antibiotics if I have to. So, that was a 4.5 hours one-way trip. With the last bit in unknown mountains.
The following day, I went to the beach. I then had to spend 3 hours in bed to recover. Still sick.
The fourth day, I came back, and that was 6 hours because I stopped in Monte Carlo because I had never been there, so why not?
The fifth day, my parents who are the best human beings on the planet agreed to bring me to this exhibition. Which was work-related. In Switzerland. Touching into Liechtenstein. That was 4 more hours each way. And more water than I’ve ever seen fall from the sky.
Then yesterday, I finally gave up, sent a few work emails, took some online tests for a course on Coursera, and worked a bit on my second job.

Oh the defeat.

Piled Higher and Deeper gets it.


Then again, what else can you do, when your first supervisors tells you he took a total of 2 {two} days off for Christmas?

Wait, maybe this isn’t about holidays and PhD students. Maybe it is me who has a problem with inactivity.

Dang it.

{Although: these are some samples of conversations I have had with friends who are also in research:
– I’m not really going on vacation. I haven’t worked hard enough during the last 11 1/2 months to go!
– Nah. There’s too much to do in London.
– Are you kidding me? With the conference deadline creeping up?
– I already went. Two months ago. But don’t tell my supervisor.
– Vaca-what?}


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s