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Life Beyond A PhD

life beyond a PhD

There was a time when I worked so hard,

Getting A’s at university

But the acolade I wanted most

Was the prestigious PhD

I’d work late into evenings,

Running from the library to and fro

All in the hopes I’d be accepted for a PhD

Letters I did’t fully know.

I tried to please my teachers,

While the pressures grew and grew

Overworking till my fingers hurt

So that all spare time was few

Many would think its in my best interests,

A golden opportunity

But now I’m not so purely sure

I need that PhD

Many friends already have one,

They showcase it with glee

And sometimes I feel like the only one

Who lacks fancy post-name letters - 1, 2 and 3

I know it means more prestige,

And fancy letters to my name

But the life it drains in the process

Now thats a risky game.

I’ve finished undergrad,

And now even an MSc

Will it really make me a better person

by completing a PhD?

Perhaps I’ll earn more money,

Or be commended for a research breakthrough

But what about the soul passions I’d leave behind?

I can’t decide between the two.

Yes I know I’ll seem to have life sorted,

With a more triumphant looking CV

And yet it feels like a heartless journey

To pursue one’s PhD.

I’ve heard it can give careers more ‘Oomph’,

Bringing security in a crazy world

But what if it closes life in on me

Before its even unfurled?

Most PhDs mean paying to work,

With tired eyes and fingers throbbing

Now correct me if I’m wrong,

But where I’m from thats called robbing

I thought we'd abolished slavery,

and yet students still pay through their teeth

To write their own thick document

That could easily rival War and Peace

I’ve already paid for my education,

And my grotty student lets

Perhaps I’d be more willing

If I wasn’t drowning in my debts

I now dread being trapped in an office,

Staring at screens 3 years or more

Swamped in wastelands of research papers

While longing to seek what’s beyond the door

I know some PhDs are key,

To securing a better social future

But if you’re looking for someone up for that task

Please don’t pick me as your suitor

For far too long I’ve wasted

Basing self worth on certificates

I’ve already had my share of accolades

And even fancy hats

Now life seems to call a different cry,

To seek, explore, have fun

Will that be allowed in research labs

Where there’s minute rays of sun?

PhDs bring safety and authority,

Things of which I would be glad

But along with nervous stress and teaching brats

It could also drive me mad

Perhaps its quite a risk to say no,

And throw the towel in

Wasting all my past achievements

To turn life’s yang more yin

I’ve wasted far too much life already,

When there’s so much love and beauty to feel

The wonders of the universe don’t reside on paper

A PhD isn’t truly real.

Im not another number,

I have dreams left to create and do

I think I could find more meaning and fulfilment

Than a PhD or two

So for now I’ll take my chances,

Experience the liberation to be free

Perhaps I’ll still relish life and travel the world

Without a PhD.

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