Day to Day Life as a Student in Canada

Day to Day Life as a Student in Canada

Basically, my daily life isn’t so different from most people’s these days. I wake up, I work, and then I go to sleep. Except, since I’m a PhD student, I sleep as little as possible, work as much as possible, and a lot of people can’t relate to the work I do even after I explain it to them. There is no nine-to-five job as a graduate student. You keep working as long as you can.

I spend most of the day doing research for my dissertation. You need to make sure your stuff is original, and that means that you have to read pretty much everything else in the field that has ever been published by anyone. That’s what you have to do before you even get started. Then, you have to keep on doing that, because so much research gets published in academia that you will run into more published research even as you work on the dissertation.

From there, I try to make sure that I get some writing time with the dissertation. Every sentence in academic writing needs a citation. A single paragraph in academic writing can take forever, or that’s how it feels. So basically, I can be working for hours and hours and have a paragraph to show for it. Still, it’s a paragraph that was well-researched and that I know will really help move the world of research forward.

I don’t meet with my adviser every day. However, if I do, she will usually ask how everything is going and she will ask for updates. I might send her some of my work in advance so she can get a sense of how everything is progressing and whether or not everything is really working for me. My adviser is busy enough that our appointments are short and straightforward.

I do some research and writing at home. I also do some of it in the library. The rest of it is done at whatever coffee shop is still open at the time. PhD students all run on coffee and we need to find a way to make sure that we get some fresh air at some point. It’s nice to be around people in coffee shops for a little while, even if you start to envy them the moment that you accidentally overhear their conversations, which are not about dissertations and research. Still, I do like being a graduate student and it is all worth it. You just need to know what you’re getting into right from the start.

Michael Davidson

Leave your message