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On PhD life, homesickness, and constant transitions

On PhD life, homesickness, and constant transitions
Jun 12, 2019 537 views 2 min read

One of the hardest things about doing this PhD and all the travelling that comes with it, is the constant transition. I would say jet lag plays a huge part, but even more than that is getting used to the two hugely different “lifestyles” that I have to step into as I jet back and forth from the UK to home. Being a mother to six and coordinating getting my work done amongst all the chaos at home and then stepping into living solo for weeks at a time has been harder than I expected. You would think that it would be so easy and having all this time and space when I am away would make things oh so much easier, but in fact I find it hard – hard to focus sometimes, hard to sleep, hard to get motivated. It’s frustrating, as I find myself having to fight against wanting to just mope around. It’s actually more than just “wanting” and I am truly beginning to understand that homesickness is in fact a “real” illness, as described in this article. And while I am maybe only suffering from one of these symptoms (trouble sleeping) – fever, lesions, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, emaciation, organ failure, incontinence, and dysentery – let’s hope it doesn’t come to heart failure or dysentery! It is somewhat comforting to know that I am not a big wuss and that I can somehow try to work towards acknowledging how difficult being away is instead of trying to ignore it and beat myself up for not being as productive as I could or should be.


Mamalegato is a mother to six, PhD student, and theatre artist. This story was published on May 3, 2015, on her blog, Mamalegato's Marathon (available here), and has been republished here with her permission.

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