If there is one thing I’ve learned since starting my PhD, its that I have a much lower tolerance for stress than I thought. And academia sure is stressful.
The expectation that I should be an expert in something is what I find most difficult to deal with, especially since I’ve just started. Sure, no one expects me to know all the answers, but it definitely seems like I should know more answers than I do.
Then there is the constant barrage of assignments. I think back to undergrad and I wonder, how in the hell did I deal with 5 whole courses at once, when I can barely seem to manage to drag myself through 1?
And then there is the papers. I don’t know if there is anyone else who has this problem, but there are only so many times I can write about the same topic without falling back into similar phrases and explanations. How do people manage to explain things in so many different combinations of words? How do people not fall back on their familiar ways of describing things? Seriously, how do academics manage to avoid plagiarizing themselves when they are talking about the same topics over and over again?
And how many times do I have to write something before I manage to feel that I really do understand it?
In other news, a centipede just ran across the wall next to my bed, and I tried to kill it but I’m not sure if I managed to or not. Sleep is so far from my radar right now.