Me and James with the best car I've ever owned (also the only car I've ever owned).
One of the most common questions I get asked by people thinking about doing a PhD is “what do you do all day?” This question is almost impossible to answer, because it’s rare that two days are ever the same. But here’s what I did today:
I got a call from the place where I took my car to get serviced, and they told me my car was ready to be picked up. I really didn’t want to have to catch the bus to get my car because that would end up taking over an hour for what should only be a 30 minute trip. I didn’t want to ride my bike because I didn’t want to be smelly and sweaty in my office for the rest of the day.
So, I asked my good friend and office buddy Felicity if she could drop me there. Unfortunately, Felicity was crazy busy with something or other so she couldn’t drive me to my car. BUT, she did say I could BORROW her car if it helped... which of course it didn’t, because I can’t drive two cars at the same time.
Fortunately, James had finished solving problems and was willing to help me out too and drive one of the cars. So James and I jumped in Felicity’s car and went to the car shop where James drove my car back to my place and then we both came back to uni. Piece of cake (except I forgot to tell Felicity where I parked her car so she apparently spent ages looking for it when she went home later that day)!
What does all of this have to do with my PhD? Absolutely nothing, really. But doing a PhD means that what I do with my time is almost entirely up to me. I set my own deadlines, I organise my own meetings, and I don’t have to ask a boss for permission if I need to leave uni spontaneously to run some personal errands.
It’s also great to work right next to friends who are willing to help me out with pretty much anything! Hmm... I wonder if they’ll help me clean my car now that it’s running so well...
Is that mold on my roof?!?!.