A Day in the Life of a Publishing PhD Student

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the life of a PhD student from day to day? PhD student in Publishing at Anglia Ruskin, Lucija Dačić shares a day in her life:

Starring: Lucija as ‘The PhD student’, Imoen as ‘The Cat’ and Tom as ‘The Significant Other’.


6:23: Something is treading on me with no regard for the fact that I’m a living thing; I am considered merely another surface to be stood upon. Four pounds of feline mass, balanced precariously on a tiny paw, is digging into my throat, but I’m way too sleepy to do anything but turn onto my side and check the time on my phone. Imoen tumbles to the side, dejected, and we both go back to sleep.

7:30, 7:40, 7:50: The alarm on Tom’s phone goes off and is promptly silenced via a snooze button.

7:53: Imoen wakes up (again) and decides to honour the new day with a complex ritual that involves a lot of running around the apartment, jumping on everything in sight, and preying on the toes that have been unwisely allowed to stick out from under the covers.

7:55: Tom grudgingly leaves the bed. I claim his pillow and proceed to sleep through the beeps of the microwave and various cat antics.

8:31: Tom leaves the apartment. Imoen immediately jumps on my desk and nudges things off it one-by-one, ignoring the sleepy cries of “NO! Bad kitty!” emanating from the bed. I resign to waking up, shoo the cat off the desk, then check the news and social networks on my phone.

9:00: There is a scraping at one of the windows, which means the builders are back. Their faces started appearing at my window sometime in February, and even though it’s April now, they’re still there every Monday and Tuesday (and sometimes, if I’m extremely unlucky, on a Wednesday as well), doing something to the frames. It has become routine for me to pretend to be asleep as soon as I hear them, then quickly drawing the shades when they step away from the window. Imoen considers them, and the loud noises they make, incredibly exciting; I admit to harbouring more murderous thoughts towards them, especially when they’re running what sounds like an oversized dental drill while I’m trying to work.

9:30: I make myself get up, get dressed and sit at my desk. I set a pomodoro timer and start being try to be productive.

9:33 Organising folders and articles counts as being productive, right?

10:42 I turn off the timer because it keeps ringing when I don’t want it to.


11:38 Imoen decides that the act of page-turning is absolutely unacceptable and should be punished by a swift clawing at the offending page.

12:00 I give up and go make lunch instead.

12:30 Lunch is ready and the workers are silent. Yay!

12:45 Finally, I can read the rest of these articles in peace.

13:05 I spoke too soon; the builders were just taking a lunch break. I take a minute to despair and consider my life choices to determine what I have done to deserve this.

17:30 Sometime during the past few hours, the builders have departed, the cat has fallen asleep and I have become completely immersed in an interesting article and a fascinating set of data. Everything’s great and I’m bathing in productivity bliss.

17:33 Imoen wakes up and runs to the door.

17:34 Tom is back from work. Imoen is loudly conveying her absolute ‘thrillness’ [sic] with his arrival and is jumping on things again. My papers go flying. I’ve been productive enough today, right?

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Lucija has travelled all the way from Slovenia (which is actually not that far) to become a PhD student at Anglia Ruskin and researches trends in speculative fiction publishing. In her free time, she is an avid reader, SFF fan, gamer, owner of an overly enthusiastic kitten and a cautious twitterer at @lucijadacic.