Getting a PhD takes a very long time.

I knew this, of course, and I’ve engaged in a wide variety of mental tricks to get me through (almost) two years of my five-year program (before fellowship). Most days, I think Husband and I have our routine down pretty well with the shared chores and the box of planned meals arriving at our doorstep each week, but other days, I’m tired. I’m tired of more rounds of midterms and final projects and required signatures and mandatory meetings. I’m tired of having no say in my class assignments or course schedule. I’m tired of making my weekend plans based on the whim of a supervisor’s requirements. I’m tired of driving so much that I actually look forward to a night in.

I miss having a benefits package. I miss having an 8am-5pm schedule. I miss my friends.

Iceland showed me that I’m ready for a change-a new house or a new city or a new baby. I’ve lived in Indianapolis for seven years. I love it here, but I’ve done the things.

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Photo by Sayan Nath, Creative Commons

There are things I like about school, of course, like the constant challenge, frequent supervision, and student discounts! But I’m really starting to look forward to new things, like saving for retirement.

“It’s all about the journey,” I tell myself as I pack my backpack for another day of client appointments, research meetings, class time, and homework.

I know this time will be a blip on the screen of my life story and a blip that I will forever thank myself for, but right now, it just feels irritatingly long, like an extended train stop when you’re running late or an unending parade when you’re scared of clowns.

I’m trying to learn patience, to remember the virtues of staying put, and to anticipate the rewards from hard work, but I’m not always that good at it.

That’s all.

Lindsay Sig

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10 comments on “Long Haul

  1. Abigail Snyder

    Thank you for sharing this. I applied for a doctorate program (still don’t know if I got in, or even if I’ll do it for sure yet), and its the “long haul” that scares me the most. Your perspective is honest and encouraging.

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  2. So eloquently and honestly stated. I had many nights and years of feeling this way as I pushed myself through graduate school one of my favorite prayers was “Heavenly Father, give me Your wisdom to know what priorities I need to have at this season of my life. Guide me in all that I do.” cause let me just say some days it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s tough for sure. I used to just take it semester by semester. Best of luck to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all , Lindsay , thanks for following my blog posts and liking them . I really appreciate it when fellow bloggers enjoy my blog posts . Secondly , don’t give up . Good luck on going for your degree .

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  5. Hi, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and feelings about this challenging journey. I believe you said you were taking this program online? I did my Master’s online and it was such a great experience. I felt that I was done sitting in classrooms and was ready to put my heart and soul into learning the material. Thanks again for sharing. I love your website?

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    • I’m glad that online Master’s program worked for you! I’m required to do mine on campus, so I commute an hour every day and spend lots of time sitting in class! It keeps me motivated, though, so I don’t end up procrastinating on everything.

      Like

  6. Sorry that was supposed to be “I love your website!”

    Liked by 1 person

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