before starting a PhD program:
1. It is an endurance contest (i.e., marathon)…that lasts for 5 years.
2. It is also a 5-year long rush week…complete with hazing.
3. You get no mulligans. Period.
4. They call it a training program, but they expect you to be perfect. Every time.
5. You must work hard…and find your own reward system. There is no sticker chart. Unless your fellow students set one up for you. In which case you should return the favor. And get those really cute stickers.
BUT if you survive all that…you get a fuzzy little hat with fuzzy stripes on your gown and the title of Doctor in front of your name.