Throughout these orientation activities, I keep hearing how hard the PhD is, and how it's going to be so frustrating and lonely, but that we'll make it--somehow, after 3 or 4 grueling years, we'll get it done.
But honestly, I look at other PhD's I've known, and it doesn't look that bad. Yes, you have to do a lot of reading and writing--but I love that. Reading and writing is my thing--why else would I be doing a PhD? And yes, it would be lonely if I were sat alone in a library all day, but I'm not. I'm doing a 9-5-ish day in the office and in the libraries, with other students around me all the time. My schedule's flexible--I can go for a coffee or make a personal phone call any time I like (not like a real 9-5 job). And at the end of the day, I go home with my boyfriend and we talk about our day and make dinner. It's not lonely at all--actually, the MA was lonelier because I didn't have a communal office and I lived alone then.
I'm sure it will get tougher, when I'm trying to get interviews tracked down, or when I've got writer's block over this 100,000 word paper. But so far, it all seems pretty straightforward.
These people need to suck it up--watch "Dirty Jobs" and see what real work is like...