Are you thinking about applying to a PhD program? Are you already a doctoral student? PhD is a huge investment of time and money. So make sure you spend 15 minutes of your time reading this blog devoted to PhD program success and survival tips. I'm confident that these tips can save up to 10 years of your life, up to $1,000,000 of your money, and, most importantly, your physical and emotional health.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Don't do anything unless you are reminded about it 3 times

Don't take your professors too seriously. They talk a lot, they do little. Don't try to put up with all their requests and suggestions. You will end up in a mental hospital. Ignore some of their requests. They don't have the mindset to follow up. They just don't care. They talk for the sake of talking. Then they forget what they told you. They may even ask you to do completely the opposite if you were stupid enough to do what they told you. So here's a useful tip for you:

Don't do anything unless you are reminded about it 3 times

You have to master this skill if you are to survive in academia. Your professors are experts in this, haven't you noticed? They won't do anything unless you remind them several times. This is how they survived in academia.


  1. Three things my kids have in common with your college professors:

    1. They talk a lot

    2. They do little

    3. They don't do anything unless I tell them three times

    I am raising Geniuses.

  2. Rochelle, you should consider getting a PhD degree then.

  3. I've just come to realise this! My supervisor invariably forgets everything I've ever told. Just last week he suggested a paper to me that I'd actually mentioned to him two weeks earlier! I used to think that he was taking in everything I was saying and really mulling it over. In all actuality he was probably thinking about the introduction he was giving at a conference later that week.

  4. My adviser used to give me a list of things to do. I usually didn't do at least 50% of the list. Since he would forget about what he told me to do, he wouldn't say anything

  5. I'm sure my supervisor doesn't pay any attention to what I say, and that he doesn't bother reading my emails because he'll ask me questions that I've already clearly answered in our correspondence. I get really frustrated with this. On several occassions he'll ask me questions that have I've already addressed. I wonder if he even remember what my project is about half the time! He challenges things I say, and I'll go on to research it just to be sure and find that I was right.

  6. In my case, my professor keeps his word. He does what I tell him to do and respects his word and deadlines.

    What I don't like about him is that we don't really collaborate. We don't set goals together, we don't set deadlines together, he doesn't really motivate me towards a certain focused direction. So I feel lost.

    Instead, he broadens the field of research, so I get the feeling I never get anything nice done. I just do little things with no connection. Sucks.


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