Are PhDs stressful?

So you have passed your secondary school and university studies, and higher education for young people would be just as easy. Long story short, a completely different and even tougher ball game is taking its toll on you – but it’s too late to get out!

Higher education is much more demanding than higher education and college combined. He demands to be 100% all the time, especially during tests and exams. You can’t do it this time; You should come to class prepared.

Feeling sad, anxious or “empty” all the time.

Do you feel sad every day, tears burst easily and you can’t overcome?

You can be afraid of anything when the simplest tasks (like getting out of bed) fill you with anxiety and worry.

Third year worse

In terms of stress reactions, there were no major differences between the faculties at the University of Copenhagen, and all faculties showed the same trend: three out of four students say doctorate that they emphasize. There were no significant differences between respondents from Denmark – non-EU Danes – or non-EU Danes. Men and women are equally stressed.

This is the third year of a very stressful doctoral research project according to our figures. 80% of students in the third and final year of their doctoral projects reported moderate, high or very high levels of stress while following the normal schedule. Some of our respondents benefited from an extension of the usual three-year period.

For them, 87% reported that they were under stress.

Physiological factors

At the beginning of a doctorate, students often take time to adapt to the accompanying physiological changes. You cannot focus on your research work if you deal with physical health issues.

Researchers usually follow a fixed framework for conducting their experiments. When unexpected results are obtained, the graduate student’s attention is drawn to finding an alternative solution to draw conclusions and plan an appropriate course of action.

Work-life balance

More than half of doctoral students are concerned about work-life balance, as long working hours in science are generally accepted and even encouraged . In fact, 40% of college graduates report that they work more than 50 hours a week. Surprisingly, this turned out to be a significant predictor of depressive symptoms. Working long hours affects our work-life balance and can make us lose a sense of control and signal to us that what we are doing is not enough.

Although a doctorate seems long at first, time flies and the end can be even more stressful. Along with finishing our theses and papers, we need to start thinking about our future career and fear that we will run out of funding before we finish.

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