'Books about doing a PhD are often clinical outlines that approach a PhD as any other project. They teach you how to get into grad school, how you should plan your work and how to successfully write a paper. Very useful information, of course. Yet none of this prevents PhD students from quitting. Yet, around 15-20% of PhD students quit. Quite a lot, don’t you think? These people do not quit because they do not know how to plan, nor do they quit because they do not know how to get into grad school. It is because a PhD is unlike any other project! It is personal. Very, very personal.
During my PhD I noticed that whenever I talked to PhD students we bonded over the similar emotions we encountered. Regardless of our research discipline, gender, age, nationally, part-time/fulltime. We all felt the same and struggled with comparable issues. My conclusion: we need to help each other with the “softer” elements of doing a PhD. If we share our experiences, talk about what we encounter, we can make this tough process (because it really is a tough process!) more enjoyable. A PhD is the coolest thing you will ever do! You should try to reap all the benefits and opportunities it provides!
So, this survival guide does that: it is intended to help you, and make you smile. The book will prepare you (and your loved ones) for the adventure you are about to (or think you might want to) set out on. The guide provides you insights into the world of science and offers practical advice on issues such as the relationship with supervisors, how to hold your own at conferences and the rollercoaster of emotions you will go through. Knowing about such things in advance increases your effectiveness and success. This book will help you be both a successful as well as a happy PhD student!'