A day in the life of a PhD student

I've wanted to write this post for a while now since I love to read these posts by other bloggers I follow, and I finally remembered to actually document one of my days! It's definitely not as interesting as people with more rigorous schedules (in my opinion), but it's my real life as a PhD student finishing up soon! (I defend my dissertation at the end of the month, so I've been busy writing the final chapter!) 

Day in the life of a PhD student: Waking up with my cats — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

9:00 AM: My alarm goes off, and I've got Rosie next to my face and Sybil by my legs. I went to bed after 2 am the night before and I like to get as close to seven hours of sleep as possible since I'm groggy if I get less than that. The first thing I do is check my phone and see a text from my boyfriend. He's working the midnight shift so his text suggests he made it home and went to bed. I do my usual check of Facebook, Instagram, and email. Sometimes I throw in Twitter and Snapchat. ;)

9:30 AM: Roll out of bed. I'm proud of myself for not hitting snooze! I actually feel pretty well-rested for once.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Feeding the cats breakfast — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Day in the life of a PhD student: Breakfast and dissertation edits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

9:35 AM: Feed the cats and then feed myself. They eat this dry food by Natural Balance in the morning (right now Sybil is on a special food for her urinary problems, but she prefers the Natural Balance food, naturally). I eat a bowl of Kix with vanilla almond milk. While I eat, I dink around on my computer. I would usually read a few blog posts but decide to make some edits to my dissertation because I'm supposed to have a meeting later. I rewrite the title of the fourth (and final) chapter but my advisor will probably end up changing it again when he sees it (#gradschooltruth). I use Overleaf so I can work on it from anywhere; it's the best! Highly recommend it if you write in LaTeX.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Everyday makeup — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Day in the life of a PhD student: Outfit of the day — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

9:55 AM: I decide to get ready for the day. I scroll through my past spring/summer looks on Stylebook for an outfit but end up wearing something new (old Anthropologie top, old Madewell jeans, and Sandelles sandals). Once I'm dressed, I put on my daily makeup routine: Smashbox BB cream (right now I'm using "fair", but I think "fair/light" matches my skin best; I misplaced my new bottle of that color, though, of course), NARS creamy concealer (in vanilla), Anastasia Beverly Hills clear eyebrow gel, and Buxom mascara.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Making a pb&j sandwich for lunch — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

10:20 AM: I make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch (grape jelly is my favorite) and scoop out the cat litter since it has been a couple of days.

10:33 AM: I'm ready to go and watching my TransitTimes app to see where the bus is. (I love this app because you can use it around the US/world!)

Day in the life of a PhD student: Catching the bus to school — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

10:40 AM: I catch the bus to school. Public transit here is awesome and included in our student fees so it's worth it to not have to pay for a parking pass and fight undergrads for parking spots. I'm also close enough to campus that it would be silly to drive.

10:48 AM: At my desk. The first thing I do is check for any new job openings. The job search struggle is real! A job I'm interested in was recently re-listed so I keep that in mind. I make some data in Matlab to plot later.

11:56 AM: My advisor walks in to my office unannounced. (I was working, though!) Our meeting with our math collaborator that was scheduled for later today is cancelled. We talked about what I need to get done and when we'll meet next. I get permission to submit my second journal article (third dissertation chapter), finally! 

Day in the life of a PhD student: Lunchtime — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

12:20 PM: Lunchtime! My stomach started to growl while talking to my advisor. I eat my PB&J sandwich and chips while listening to the new HAIM songs and working. The only time I don't work through lunch is if I actually leave my office to meet up with friends.

12:50 PM: I start the process for paper submission and remember how much of a pain it is. It tells me to give it the word count. LaTeX/Overleaf doesn't count for you so I copy the whole thing into Word and use that number even though I didn't take out any of the formatting. At least it's just an estimate...

1:35 PM: Still working on my lunch and still working on the paper submission. I listened to Jojo's new album, Mad Love, in the meantime. (I'm obsessed with it.)

2:26 PM: I finally finish submitting my paper! Gosh that was annoyingly time-consuming. Time to go back to writing the dissertation. I can now add the paper I just submitted into my dissertation as chapter three, but I wait because I sent the link to my math collaborator to look at chapter four and I don't want to make him confused with the page numbering. I listen to some more music (I'm feeling Echosmith and Sia today). 

4:00 PM: I finish eating my lunch, ha! Some days I'm hungry enough to down it in 15 minutes and other days are like today and it takes me a few hours.

4:44 PM: I get so caught up in making figures for chapter four that I waited a couple of minutes too late so now I'll miss the bus I was planning to take home. I decide to keep working until the next bus.

4:51 PM: I get a text from my boyfriend when he wakes up. I'm definitely most productive when he's on midnight shifts and sleeps all day. ;)

4:57 PM: I head out for the bus.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Waiting for the bus home — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

5:04 PM: On the bus home!

5:15 PM: Home sweet home! I love on Sybil, text with my boyfriend and catch him up on my day, and work a bit more on my dissertation. I'm feeling productive!

5:38 PM: I start the oven to heat up some leftovers for dinner (cheesy potatoes and taco salad, a very random combination) and go through outfit photos for tomorrow's blog post.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Leftovers for dinner — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

6:12 PM: I eat dinner and try to start The Voice on Hulu, but I'm having internet connection issues to the Xbox.

6:22 PM: Hulu is finally up and running. I read some blog posts while The Voice is on in the background.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Grocery store run — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Day in the life of a PhD student: Feeding the cats dinner — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

8:10 PM: I wasn't planning to go anywhere tonight, but I need to run to the store to pick up some things to make a treat for a BBQ tomorrow.

8:45 PM: Back home and the cats are bugging me for dinner. They eat the canned version of their dry food. (FYI, it smells awful.) Rosie's bowls are red and Sybil's are blue, so Sybil was naughty and eating out of Rosie's bowl when I took the picture.

8:50 PM: I turn on the next episode of The Voice and get to work on tomorrow's blog post.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Watching Girlboss on Netflix — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Day in the life of a PhD student: Working out in Grana activewear — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

9:30 PM: Once The Voice is done, I switch to watching Girlboss on Netflix on recommendation from my step mom. (Have you seen it? Thoughts?) Still working on the blog post.

10:30 PM: FaceTime with my boyfriend! We do a short but intense 15-minute workout before he goes to work and then I go back to working on my post while we talk. I need to decide on another outfit photo or two.

12:27 AM: I get distracted and pay a bill before placing an online order (#priorities #adulting). Post still isn't done.

Day in the life of a PhD student: Rosie drinking out of the faucet — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Day in the life of a PhD student: Time for bed — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

1:25 AM: The post is finally done and scheduled. If it's not totally obvious, I have a hard time staying focused sometimes. Haha. Now it's time to shower! Rosie joins me in the bathroom; she gets to drink out of the faucet while I'm showering. She's spoiled.

2:14 AM: Lights out! I wanted to be in bed earlier than the night before but that didn't happen, as usual. ;)