2 down, 1 to go

Last week marked the end of my second year, and the start of my third and final year doing a PhD. That’s if all goes to plan.

No one else seemed to notice, and I wasn’t prompted to write my second year report until I asked about it on Thursday. So that will be a tad late, just like everything else I’ve submitted so far. It shouldn’t take too long though.

At this point I’m busy reflecting carefully on what I’ve achieved so far, and trying to pick out all the useful bits ready for a thesis, so that I look like I’ve achieved something. I’m also thinking ahead, looking to wrap up the many loose ends before I’m due to start writing the thesis in about 6 months time.

It feels very, very strange to be looking back over the last two years and thinking about how I felt at the beginning of this challenge. Returning to my very first blog post, it was clear from the start that doing a PhD in astronomy probably wasn’t the best thing I could be doing. I’ve always had doubts, but it also always felt like a reasonably solid and sensible thing to do. I’m now very much fed up of learning, in an academic sense, and quite certain I don’t want to be an astronomer. But I’ve still got a year left, and I’m damn sure I’m going to finish it now.

Here’s to the final year of pretending to be fascinated by astronomy, plenty of distractions, painful Python programming, and saving the world.

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2 thoughts on “2 down, 1 to go

  1. OUt of interest, what will you do with your PhD if not pursuing an academic career? I only ask because I’m 18 months behind you PhD-wise, and I really wonder what I’ll do if I lose the love of my discipline (linguistics) by the end of it.

  2. To be honest I still have no idea! I’ve contemplated a technical career in astronomy (working at a telescope or with hardware and instrumentation), but I sometimes feel even this wouldn’t be rewarding enough. I’ve become too politically and socially aware of the dangerous path our society is following, that I can’t see myself happy in a job that essentially ignores those worries. It’s looking increasingly likely that I won’t be using the primary skills I’ve gained in my PhD, but some of them will certainly be helpful (e.g. scientific scrutiny, writing, time management, etc).

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