Second Year Burn Out?

There is a growing consensus among my PhD friends…we’re all burning out. We’re sick of having our lives run by homework. We want to do things that everyone else does with their evenings…read for fun, do laundry, go to sporting events, slip into bed a few hours earlier than normal.
Most of us are in at least halfway–far too much to consider dropping out. Not that we would. But finding out you’re not the only one sick of living this kind of life brings some type of comfort. I guess we’re all locked in the PhD biosphere, but finding out there are other people who want out makes me feel less guilty for the thoughts.

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My Porch

Today, I tried to lessen my hatred for the amount of reading I am expected to do each week as part of this thing called a “Ph.D.” I decided I was going to take my reading outside. From my hole inside, it looked like it was a good day to give it a try.
I headed outside with a cold drink, a notebook, and the reading. I thought that I was going to be more productive: my plan was to leave the laptop and the new email alert sound inside. I probably was more productive overall, but I was severely distracted by the aesthetic experiences offered by my porch and what I could see beyond the walls. Flower boxes, herbs in wooden crates on the steps, and the sound of neighborhood kids mixed with the crickets’ song. I found myself dazing. And, the change of environment did me some good. Why don’t I do that more often?