Desperate insecurity

Alison in Wonderland


My supervisor’s office, probably much to her dismay, has a fully glass front. So I can always see if she’s in, even if she’s trying to hide behind a plant pot. This is invaluable, because I seem to have hit the latest obstacle in the life of a PhD student: desperate, crippling insecurity. Am I going in the right direction? Or just going around in circles? How do I know if I’m doing enough? What if it’s not good enough? Or what if, by some mysterious and inconvenient coincidence, both my computers crash and my USB spontaneously combusts and I lose all my data? The latest cartoon doing the rounds on Facebook provides some comfort. A PhD is like a marriage, it says. They both start with a proposal, and are only begun by the young and the foolish. But unlike marriage, a PhD is forever.


Alison Edwards

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