Do you love your topic?

One of my biggest challenges over the past couple of years, has been that I don’t really like my topic. I don’t find it all that important. I don’t find the results all that fascinating. And I don’t really care about the research (so how can I fault others when they reject papers?). This has also made researching it very frustrating, because it’s all that much harder to find motivation when you just don’t care (although I care a bit – I would like to get the degree at the end).

I think one of my biggest “regrets” of my PhD, will always be that I let others sort of direct me into a topic, instead of having more say about what I would end up doing. I also think this has had a huge impact on the amount of time my degree has taken me, which is unfortunate (although I have no clue what I’d be doing if I wasn’t in school right now). I was just so undecided at the start (not recommended), that some, any, direction was welcome. And here I am today, stressed out and working on a topic I don’t care about, but having to figure out how to “sell” it so that others will care enough to pass me. It’s really not ideal.

Not working on my PhD last week should’ve felt great. It did, to a degree, but it was always there in the back of my mind. I couldn’t completely forget (or ignore) what needs to be done. And so I’m really hoping this week I can figure out a better way to manage both the PhD and startup, such that both get worked on. The startup deserves the lionshare of the work, but it’d feel great if I could make just a bit more progress on the experiment for my PhD, so that there’s a chance I can actually run it right away in September (only possible if I actually finish constructing it).

And, as I work on my PhD, I will continue to tell myself, there’s less than 8 months of work left – which really isn’t all that long compared to how long I’ve already been here. So I can “suffer” through that as well and make it out the other side intact.


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