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I am your typical PhD student

Survey among PhD students at the University of Copenhagen reveals their work, life and everything in between. Everyone who does a PhD is different, but this person is not. Say hello to Ms. Average

I am a Danish girl. Nearly 30. I am in a relationship, but have no children. And I am doing my PhD at the Faculty of Science, the University of Copenhagen.

I am the statistical result of an analysis, showing the most frequent response on the 2014 University Post PhD survey. I did the survey last August 2014, and it asked me a series of questions about my work and my work/life balance.

Note that I said work/life balance and not life/work balance.

Library, what library

I work more than 20 hours a week researching, 2-5 hours a week writing, 0-1 hours a week teaching, 2-5 hours a week on administration, and 2-5 hours a week on professional networking, talks, and conferences. When researching and writing however, I have noticed that some of my international friends are still at the office when I leave.

I know what you are thinking – this could add up to a busy week, or even a lazy week, but remember, dear reader, that I am the girl with no name, the sum of other people’s responses, and I don’t necessarily add up.

I spend 31-37 hours of my week at the office, and I never put my foot in the library (to tell you the truth, I don’t even know how to use it!)

Moderately excited

For more than 21 hours a week I work on my own, in solitude. But, for 2-5 hours a week I do work closely with my colleagues.

I am in the first year of my PhD, and I reckon I will submit my dissertation on time.

And why not? After all, I talk to my supervisor once every second week, and on a typical day I am what you would call ‘moderately excited’ about my work. I am high on ‘motivation’ and low on ‘boredom’.

Two social gatherings

I get things done. I am moderately work efficient – if I was to evaluate myself. I am academically satisfied to a moderate degree. I guess you could call me a typical PhD student.

And as a typical PhD student – I am moderately stressed.

Not much time for friends, only about 0 to 1 hour daily, but I still managed to pack in two social gatherings and social events last week. They involved a gathering with some friends from outside the university, and a particularly tedious seance with my boyfriend, which I prefer we don’t talk about.

I am mainstream

As for social media, I am only on Facebook (This is Denmark, land of Facebook, so no big surprises here!)

But I have heard that many of my colleagues are into Twitter and Instagram.

When I click on news stories they are likely from DR and Politiken. Down the corridor, my international colleagues keep talking about stuff they read on BBC and the Guardian (good for them!).

(See an overview of the responses on the pdf file below this article.) (ghost writer for Ms. Average = Mike Young

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