After Graduating with a PhD

One of the best days of my life (so far) was May 4th, 2023. That was the date where I walked on to the stage, with my adviser, and was officially named, Dr. Ben! Wow, what a moment that was and what an awesome day. I had been waiting for years, and working pretty darn hard to finally get to that moment. It was exactly how I imagined it. Unfortunately, almost right after the adrenaline wore off, I had a thought. That thought was short and simple….”What’s next?” What happens after graduating with a PhD?

after graduating with a PhD

Life, life happens and it is weird because I have been putting life off for so long. I started a job, which I discuss in m previous post (here). I moved away to Miami and started a whole new life 4 hours from my friends and family. I will not lie, I am overwhelmed.

If you are in my position and just starting life after graduate school then you know how difficult it is. In fact, it might just be harder transitioning into this life than my PhD was entirely. That might be an over exaggeration, but what I am saying is, it’s hard.

I am known ( by like a few people that read this blog) for my love of lists. Today, we are bringing them back after a long hiatus. So let’s get into it. Here are some things that I have noticed after graduating with a PhD.

1) You may feel a bit deppressed

I talked about this in my last post about post-PhD depression. Honestly, it is something that I am going through right now, and it’s fairly common. You have spent so many years doing something literally every single day, then all of a sudden, it’s over. That really does a toll on your mental health. I know it has done quite a bit to mine.

2) You’ll probably have money again….or for the first time

I actually have money to buy fruit and vegetables. This may seem like a nothing burger to many of you, but for a fresh grad, this means the world. I have been fairly poor, yes poor, for the last year to 2 years. Rent was crazy so I was actually losing money each month, even though I had a stipend. Anyway, I have an engineering job now that pays me a living wage, even in Miami, which means that I have money to invest/save/spend on things. It’s crazy and really helps. It takes care of necessities, but the mental health issues still pursist unfortunately.

3) You will miss grad school

You may have hated every minute of your PhD but I guarantee that you will miss it after graduating. I loved my time in grad school. It toughened me up, prepared me for the rigors of academia/research, and definitely took me so far out of my comfort zone that I became a totally different person. As soon as I moved away, I knew that I was going to miss the heck out of it. Sure enough, I do.

Free time after graduating with a PhD

4) You will have more free time

Grad school was a 24/7 job. The best part about my job is I leave it at the office. I don’t even think about it when I get home, or well I try not to. I have more “free time” so basically I have time away from work. I have taken up many of my hobbies again, I am blogging again, and my workouts are back to the way they were 3 years ago. I am relaxing more and actually can plan to do something that doesn’t revolve around my experiments or work. It’s great.

5) People will actually listen to you

One of the weirdest things that I have experience is having the respect from other people in my field. They see those three little letters next to my name, and all of a sudden I gain all of the respect. People come to me for advice and actually listen to what I have to say. They trust what I tell them and that is really awesome.

6) People won’t really call you doctor

So my coworkers call me Dr. B, but that’s because they like the nickname. No one else calls me Dr. That’s fine, though. You know that you are a doctor and you really don’t need people saying that all of the time. Plus, sometimes it’s good because they may think you are a medical doctor. I don’t want people thinking that lol.

7) You will have to take some time to get readjusted

You may have had to push out every basic knowledge fact and skill out of your head and body to accommodate for the immense knowledge that was your thesis. I forgot how to do a ton of things, like make friends, make appointments for things, use any software other than MINEQL+, excel, word, or PowerPoint, as well as other things. It may take some time to get back into being a normal person, but you’ll get there.

After graduating with a PhD isn't bad

Life after graduating isn’t bad

It really isn’t so bad, but I really miss research. I do enjoy my job, and they are starting to get me into research things, but it doesn’t fill the space where my PhD was. Life outside of academia has been very strange and definitely affecting my mental health. It’s hard, but I have hope that it will be ok in the end. I am going to continue to post mental health advice on this blog, but for the next few, I am going to focus a bit on finishing a PhD and stuff that goes with that. I have many ideas, which is good since I haven’t really had any the past few months.

Final thoughts

I actually look forward to blogging consistently again. I am changing it up a bit and not focusing on the monetary aspect for now. I think I will focus mostly on solid advice and helping people. Making money on my blog was something for grad school Ben, but Dr.Ben is here to help others. I hope you all enjoyed this post. Drop a comment and let me know if there is a topic that you want covered or if you need some advice. Life really isn’t so bad after graduating with a PhD

As always, I hope you all have an amazing day/week/year/month/lifetime. You all really make it worth it and have helped me so much these past few years. Peace.

The Best Things About Grad School

I want to take time today to go over the best things about grad school. I want to list off all of the things that I found to be absolutely amazing about grad school. See, many posts about grad school focus on negative things (I am guilty of this). However, there are a ton of really great things about grad school that I want to discuss today. So, let us get started talking about the best things about grad school.

8 of the Best things about Grad school

best things about grad school

1) The projects you get to work on

I think one of the coolest and best parts about grad school is being able to work on projects that very few people in the world have even come close to doing. You will be working with machines that cost more than mansions. You’ll be working on cutting edge technologies that may change the world one day. Even if you don’t think what you are working on is world changing, it still may contribute to something much greater. I was fortunate enough to work on projects that helped reduce lead poisoning in children. I was able to work with the brightest minds in this field and actually contribute to the overall well-being of society. This is why this is on the list.

2) The People

I have met some of the best people in grad school. This includes students as well as professors. I find one of the best parts about being in grad school, especially a PhD prgram, is you get to really get to know the faculty and staff. In undergrad, professors seemed like a whole different type of species, honestly. Now that I get to spend time around them, I realize that they are just like everyone else. You really get to know them on a personal level.

The friends I have made along the way have been some of the absolute best as well. I have made quite a few friends in grad school that have really made the journey much more enjoyable. They go through the same struggles, they experience the same ups and downs, and they need friends just as much as you do. That combination really makes for close relationships in grad school.

3) Free things!

Grad school is a weird place. You are stuck between being a student and a professional. The best part about this is people still consider you a student and will give you a ton of free or heavily discounted things. I can use my student ID still to get a ton of discounts at food places, stores, and even some amusement parks. There’s also a ton of free events on campus that we are able to go to because we are students still. It is definitely a perk that I am all for.

Freedom in grad school

4) The freedom

I was told once that grad school is amazing because you get to pick which 7 days that you get to work. I have to admit, it took me way longer than it should have to understand that joke. Yes, there is a ton of work to do in grad school, but you get to pick when you want to work or if you don’t want to. You don’t have to come in each day to an office and sit at a desk from 9 to 5 to please upper management. If you have no work to do that day, go have fun. If you want to take off a week to just lounge at the pool, go right ahead.

Of course, don’t get behind on work, but you have the freedom to do this. This is also great because some people work best in the morning. Some work best at night. This allows you to work when you want and not when someone tells you to.

5) The support you get from the school

Ok, this might be a bit controversial, depending on your school, but for UF at least, there is a significant amount of support. Some areas can be improved, but I am very happy with the amount of support that is given to grad students. If you have a problem, there is someone always available to help. I am constantly being asked if everything is great and if I need any help with anything. It could just be my college particularly but I think the university does provide a ton of support for their students. We even have a union that adds extra support.

learn what you want in grad school

6) The ability to learn what you want

In undergrad, you will take a billion classes that just don’t interest you. Grad school is about taking the classes that do interest you ad becoming an expert in that field. I haven’t taken a class in grad school that I didn’t want to take. Even the statistics course I took was on the list of courses I wanted to take. I absolutely love that I am able to take a class in a subject that i am passionate about and continue to do so all throughout grad school. It is definitely a major perk about going to grad school.

7) Just Being Back in School

I won’t lie to you guys, I missed being in school when I was working full time. In fact, that was a major factor in coming back for a master’s degree. I love the freedom you have as a college student and how much fun it was. The smells, the feels, the free events, the parties, everything! It was so sad to leave that after undergrad. Now I am back and can tell you that it was nice being back. I don’t party as much and I surely don’t do nearly half the stuff I did in undergrad, but I am very happy to be part of the experience again. Undergrad was fun so might as well do it again lol.

8) The Doors that Open because of Grad School

This is the last thing on the list and one of the most import. Grad school will open doors to careers that you didn’t know existed. For me, I was introduced to many opportunities for careers that would not be available to me unless I received a doctorate. Grad school prepares you for very unique opportunities and that’s dope. It may close a ton of doors, but the jobs you do get are way better anyway. Yes it is a lot of work to get to these positions, but it is totally worth it.

Final Thoughts

I hope this list was helpful. If you are on the fence about grad school, really look into it. Take a look at my post about pros and cons of grad school (link Here) if you are trying to decide. I personally found the whole experience of grad school to be 100% worth it and I think you will too. If you have any questions, please contact me at I will see you all in the next one. Peace!

Scared to do Grad School

Quick update on life before I get into the topic of being scare to go to grad school. I am currently in the process of writing 3, yes 3, publishable papers and it has been terrible. So, I will try and write a blog post about this in the next few days after I finish some other work. I wanted to get in a quick, maybe not quick, we will see, blog post today about being scared to go or start grad school. I know how daunting it is and I just want to give some pointers on how to start, what to do when you first get here, and just some other helpful advice. So let’s get into it, shall we?

scared to go to grad school

Scared to apply for grad school

Applying to grad school is a scary experience. Depending on what you are doing, you may find yourself emailing professors for references, taking the GMAT or GRE, trying to get enough money to pay for application fees, and various other things. Just thinking about it makes me nervous and I haven’t done something like this is 4 years. It can be a hectic and scary process. I think the scariest portion is getting letters of recommendation. Something about reaching out to professors or work people gives me crazy anxiety. It’s completely normal to feel this way though.

Letters of Recommendation

The best thing you can do is just face your fear. The worst possible thing that anyone can do when asking for a letter of recommendation is say “no”. I have had this happen to me, and it’s really not that bad. Here is a secret though. Professors actually, sort of, like writing letters of recommendation. They don’t necessarily like the writing portion but they are happy to do so because the student looks at them as an important person that is influential. Talk about a confidence booster. Most professors will be happy to write a letter of recommendation for you if you ask.

Stupid Standardized Tests

Another scary part of the application process is just taking those stupid exams to get in. I was lucky and didn’t really need to take exams to get into grad school as I had already passed my Fundamentals of Engineering exam to become certified as an engineer. This helped me bypass the GRE and GMAT exams. I did take the GRE just in case, though it was not required. Taking these exams can be stressful. The best thing you can do is just study, take the exam, and accept the score. You may do way better than you think. I know of many schools that are doing away with these exams as well so you may not even have to take them to get in.

What Other Things about applying scares you?

Instead of asking this at the very end, I’ll ask it now. What other things about grad school scares you when it comes to applying? Let me know in the comments section or you can email me and let me know if you want to remain anonymous. My email is

Scared of grad school

Scared of starting grad school

Grad school is a whole different experinece. You are going to be placed in a room with a ton of very intelligent people, that might intimidate you. Trust me when I say this, you belong here! If you got in to grad school then you definitely belong in grad school. Do not think otherwise. There is this thing called imposter syndrome that will creep up on you. It will make you think that you don’t belong or are not good enough. Trust me, you are good enough. If you want to read more about imposter syndrome, go check out my post about it (link here).

You are going to take some difficult classes. That is what grad school is all about, becoming an expert. So the classes that you do take will be fairly difficult because they go into so much detail about one or two different topics. Is it doable? Absolutely. In fact, I guarantee that you’ll do very well in these classes. Grad school is not out to fail you, like many undergrad courses were. No, you are here to learn without focusing too much on the grades. In fact, if you focus solely on the grades, you’ll be missing out on a lot. Focus mainly on the material and learning about the subjects. If you focus on just getting an A, you may miss on learning the concepts in the class.

Everyone is Scared

There is not one person that isn’t scared to start grad school. You are not alone in your feelings. I was terrified to start my master’s and even more terrified to start my doctorate. Yes, me, the amazing Ben, was terrified to start school. Just know that you are not alone. I have spoken with quite a few grad students in my day and they have all said how nerve wracking it was to start school. They all thought they were alone in their feelings too.

Many PhD students that have started also feel this way. Luckily for them, I am here to help out since I have been through everything that they have. There are very similar concerns with all of them, mostly they think they don’t belong. This is the biggest concern that many people have when starting. They get into this position where they are required to make a contribution to knowledge and they don’t think they can do it. I am here today to tell you, yes. you can do it, and you will do it. But it will be tough.

It’s ok to be scared of grad school

I am not here to tell you to not be scared. Being scared is a natural response to the unknown. The best way to get over it is to just do it. It’s pretty much exposure therapy. You just need to try it out. Don’t let a little bit of intimidation cause you to not go for this. Many people dream about this opportunity. So don’t let some stupid false ideas keep you away from fulfilling this goal of yours. I promise you that it’s worth trying.

Final Thoughts

I wanted to write a bit today for those thinking about going to grad school but are a bit nervous. It’s ok to be a bit scared to start grad school. I am here to tell you that you are going to do just fine and everything will work out. If you are starting grad school and want to know more, send me an email and I will gladly answer any question you have. Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will catch you in the next one. Peace!