I want to introduce you to a concept today that I call the body of knowledge. I’ve seen it crop up in many places across the internet and it seems to be a common lesson but many people still seem to forget it and its meaning. As a PhD candidate with a family, an active student politician, community volunteer and friends there are many demands on my time. By putting my studies into perspective it helps realise the PhD isn’t some all consuming beast that some make it out to be.
First lets start with a circle which represents all of the knowledge known by humanity.
As we go through each stage of our schooling the amount we learn can be represented within this circle, starting from preschool and primary school moving up all the way to our final years in high school.
Many of us stop here, satisfied in knowing enough to live a fulfilling life within society. But, many of us continue onward and obtain a bachelors degree. With this degree gives you a specialisation in a unique field.
A masters degree furthers this specialisation through independent research or further courses.
Eventually though, higher education culminates in the pursuit of a doctorate. The first stage of this is a literature review which takes you to the very boundary of human knowledge about a singular topic.
Until one day, you make a discovery and push the body of knowledge just that little bit further.
But, in the grand scheme of things, the circle still bears its shape. To an outsider it seems no different than before.
Sometimes your studies may seem overwhelming, especially in the pursuit of a PhD, but take a step back every now and again to asses the bigger picture.
Don’t drop those plates.
A properly balanced PhD is possible.