Taking Your Prelims Vs. Losing Your Virginity

This morning, I’m waiting for my advisor to send me my PhD preliminary exam questions, and as I wait, I thought I’d show

a) 4 ways how taking the preliminary exams is like having sex for the first time:

  1. There’s a divide between people who’ve gone through with it and those who haven’t. All the advice that the experienced can give you is to “close your eyes and barrel your way through it.”
  2. Before, your entire identity can be summed up as someone hasn’t gone through it. On the other side of the fence, people say it’s now just something they did.
  3. Every now and then, you come across someone who’s experience was magical. They were fully prepared, had everything sorted out, knew exactly what to expect, and might have even had fun. For most people, it seems to have been torture while they were doing it, but at least went by very quickly.
  4. You think you want to be on the other side– very, very badly. When the time is actually close, and the moment is inevitable, you suddenly wish you had just a little while longer.

b) 1 important way that taking the exams is NOT like having sex

  1. You try to do it just once in your life.

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