Whenever people talk about PhDs, they make it seem all doom, gloom and back-breaking work. Now, I’m not trying to dispute that a PhD is tough and if you’re researching a topic like mine, you should anticipate being tucked away in a chilly lab on quiet evenings when the undergrads have all left for the day. Studying for a PhD is not easy and you will have to make sacrifices, whether to your bank account, social life or sleep.
On the other hand, if you plan your time well enough, you may be able to slot in a couple university societies. I’m taking advantage of my current, relatively clear schedule and joined the Fitness Club, which conducts group workouts several times a week in the evenings. I get to exercise and socialise; also I believe that working out in a group makes it much more palatable (and therefore effective) than working out alone. I suppose it does help that I live on campus but I’ll take every chance I can to avoid being a hermit while I can, because I’m sure that time will come eventually.
So I’m going to enjoy every day as it comes, work my hardest to get my work done and not worry. This post actually came about when I looked out the window in my office and saw a sparrow grooming itself. The tiny, fluffy creature just perched on the ledge, calmly running a beak through its feathers took my thoughts to Matthew 6:25-27:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life worrying add a single hour to your life? (NIV)
In summary: don’t worry, just live your life for God, and He’ll provide.
It may not be great riches, a fantastic social life and ample physical rest, but I believe that He will give me everything I need, and no more than I can cope with. And He will always, always have my back.
Finally, here’s a picture I took a couple years back. I thought the gap in the clouds looked a little like a bird (or maybe an angel, if you’re feeling especially romantic), so I thought it was appropriate for this post. Also, I reckon it’s a good lead in for the upcoming Christmas/winter season.