In the spirit of the lovely trend of "Shit girls say…" or "Shit people say…" and seeing that my "Sh*t Hong Kong People Say to White Guys" was able to get a few positive responses, I sat down to quickly write down some of the sh*t people usually say to me about my PhD studies. It's a very long list, but I guess these are some of the reoccurring highlights. Got more? Add a comment below!


Here we go:

Sh*t People Say to PhD Students

  1. Why?
  2. But WHY?
  3. Poor you.
  4. Oh, so you don't actually work.
  5. Couldn't find a real job, could you?
  6. Do you guys do actual work?
  7. That's not a profession, get a real job.
  8. You must have a very easy life.
  9. So you're a teacher?
  10. 6 years!?! seriously?!
  11. Why didn't you graduate already?
  12. That thesis topic sounds really interesting but I really have to go now…
  13. Aren't you too old to be a student?
  14. Are you ever going to finish that degree?
  15. Have you watched "Big Bang Theory"?
  16. Are you also one of those people that sits alone in their lab all day?
  17. You don't go out much, do you?
  18. Exciting? that's exciting?
  19. But how is what you're saying helpful for real people?!
  20. Huh? I don't get this.
  21. I don't think anyone will get this.
  22. You're not making any sense.
  23. You're wrong, you're not considering the fact that…
  24. It sounds right, but isn't that just common sense?
  25. You spent a whole year investigating THAT?!
  26. How long did you say to publish a paper?! HUH? a s-i-n-g-l-e paper?!
  27. So you're probably all too familiar with the X theory? what do you mean you're not?
  28. But how do you explain what I read last week…
  29. You really believe
    1. in this stuff?
    2. that this stuff works?
    3. that this stuff matters?
    4. that this stuff is worth doing?
    5. that this stuff is interesting?
  30. So for these last X years, what have you got to show for?
  31. I heard professors make a lot of money / you must be very rich.
  32. I've always wanted to do a PhD but then
    1. I realized it's a stupid decision.
    2. I found out how much it pays.
    3. I saw how long it was.
    4. I got married and my wife/husband knocked some sense into me.
    5. I was finally accepted to a normal job.
    6. my parents told me that if I do – I wouldn't be able to find a husband.
    7. I know that I'm a person that needs more structure.
    8. I know I'm not good at writing endless bullshit about nothing.
  33. Undergrad was suffering enough, why would you want to extend that?


Got more? I'm interested! Feedback and comment most welcome.

(Cartoon credit – I did a PhD and did NOT go mad)

Tags: degree; doctorate; phd; phd student; shit people say; student; students; Studies;

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Something like “Ah you know that Ph.D. stands for Permanent Head Damaging?”


I got #24 in my oral examination. I was close to say “that is called logical thinking” or “now that everyone knows, theory of relativity is also common sense”

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