We all have to make sacrifices, be it to afford a new car or to meet a goal long sought-after. Two and a half years in, I realise that the major sacrifice that I have had to make is that of free time and, to an extent, freedom.
To afford my PhD programme – and the 4 years of living here – I have had to work on the side. Nothing major, nothing much, but just to make ends meet. One of my side-gigs involves volunteering as a resident (or hall) tutor for the University and it is especially this job that signals the main issue with having to juggle a PhD and commitments on the side:
our work never ends.
It may start at the office, but it continues at home. We are asked to perform, and perform well, wherever we are. We receive evaluations at University, but also evaluations at home, be it from a Hall warden, our students that happen to live at the same place (help!), partners or family members.
Luckily, gigs are only temporary and can easily be let go off. Partners and family, hopefully, less so. I have therefore grown to have immense respect for peers who have to manage a wide range of responsibilities at home. Take care.