If my PhD were a marathon

We’d all stand on the starting line, hyped, pumped,

Ready for the off.

Years of training brought us to this point

All those other races, exams, degrees paling into insignificance –

This is the Big One.

The starter cracks the pistol, and we’re off,

Jostling our fellows, trying to find some room to research.

As the race wears on we spread out

No longer treading on each others’ toes

Each pushing along in our own world.

Spectators yell their support from the sidelines

The noise seems so distant

Though the encouragement is welcome.

I bow my head, grit my teeth, and push on

Keep going keep going keep going

I look desperately for a mile marker

But none is nearby.

I grab a drink, a snack – something sugary –

And return to work. Keep pushing

Surely it’s not too much further?

As I enter the final mile the crowd roars louder

Can’t stop now can’t stop now

I dig deep, use my final energy reserves

The deadline looms larger and larger

I haul myself across it, victorious.

Then – oh, cruel world! – another mile to run

Before I can receive my trophy, a viva

Corrections, resubmission

I jump the hurdles

Till finally

I am finished.


Image credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36123550