I’ve recently been encouraged by a colleague and friend to apply for a funded PhD at his department.
This is extremely exciting news, and it’s truly an honour to even be thought of, but I can’t help but feel a bit of apprehension. There’s my old friend, the Impostor Syndrome, and I often wonder how I even got as far as doing a masters (I suspect many of my A level teachers would be shocked to learn that out of my entire group of friends, I’m the one who’s been head-hunted for a funded doctorate!). I also wonder if I’d be able to handle 3.5 years of in-depth, solitary research. Having said that, I think one of the main problems I’ve encountered during my masters is the sheer amount of juggling I have to do with my subjects, writing essays on completely different topics at the same time, and fitting a part-time job in around it all. I suppose with a PhD I’d be studying broadly, but following my own interests and setting my own deadlines which I imagine would suit my learning style far better.
I won’t even go into the issue of finance and funding, because those are the woes of practically any archaeologist, but this is a very large factor in my considerations.
So I suppose I’m calling on people who are doing/have done PhDs and feel they have any advice. Is there such a thing as over-qualification? Do you think that doing a PhD could ever be a bad thing? Does anyone regret their decision? What would you say to your pre-PhD self, if you could?