PhD delusions: Top ten
People perceives PhDs as smarter
Although that perception is found here and there, it’s irrelevant. Compared to 1960’s there has been a ten fold increase in number of PhDs. Tenfold increase in intelligence in population?
I am getting paid (peanuts) to learn
You are getting paid to do marking and doing teaching assistantship duties – basically all the grunt work of undergraduate teaching. You are so cheap labor that it requires union to protect your peanuts.
I will get scholarships (free money)
Some department students may be luckier in getting scholarships but in general there’s one scholarship per hundred applicants. Unless your grades are awesomely good, applying is a waste of time.
After PhD, I will get a date and get married and raise a family
You can’t and won’t. What sane person will marry you, considering you have no jobs and no prospects? If someone does like you, it’s a case of “misery loves company”
If I work a little more, major discovery is just around the corner
99.99% unlikely. For evidence, look at the thousands of theses – garbage that nobody cares about.
By constantly procrastinating, I am doing “great research”
Your lab is broken most of the time and you don’t have a clue how to fix and your thesis will be written out of a desperation than an actual good work.
My supervisor has my best interest in his mind
He found the cheapest labor that can stay overnight to do some of his junk work.
I will finish PhD in four years
You will be lucky if you finish in seven. Many suffers a prison of ten and ruin their entire life as they have lost spines.
Post-doc is a career
Delusions can go a long way. You will likely do multiple postdocs and then retire.
My supervisor’s recommendation will land me a faculty position
That thought (like believing God or Spaghetti monster) is more of a mental disease than an evidence-supported statement. Outside academia, your supervisor’s recommendation doesn’t mean anything.