‘I Thought Getting My PhD Would Feel Different.’ People Share Accomplishments That Actually Weren’t As Momentous As They Thought.

We all have those things in life that motivate us. Whether it's going for our dream job, making a certain amount of money or having children, we all have goals that propel us forward.

However, sometimes when we reach our potential, it's not exactly everything we've expected it to be. Here, people share accomplishments that weren't as momentous as they'd previously have thought.

1/29. I once cycled from San Francisco to the northern coast of Alaska. Reaching the Arctic Ocean was my only goal for 3 months and when I was finally there, I realized: It's all over now and I have to go back to work...


2/29. Finally read all of the Harry Potter books. When they first came out, I was turned off by how hyped they were and that it consumed so many conversations in the school yard. So, I protested.

But after years of boycotting the franchise, my partner convinced me to read the books. Begrudgingly, I went about reading them one by one, page by page. Don't get me wrong I thought they were fairly cool books that created this interesting world of characters, but after reading all SEVEN of them, I felt slightly underwhelmed.


3/29. As a kid I've always wanted to be older. You know, drive cars, go to sleep whenever I wanted, eat whatever. Now that I am, it's just, "meh."


4/29. I make a fairly cozy sum of money for my age, degree, singleness, and lack of children. I feel like I should be super excited about it, but I'm pretty neutral overall. Money only matters when you don't have any.


5/29. Got into running a few years ago. Started being able to do a 5k, then got to a 10k, and wanted to do a 10 mile next, but figured I might as well do the 13.1mi half marathon (10k=6.2mi).

But there's things no one tells you (story continued on the next page...).

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No one tells you that salt from sweat basically turns your shirt to sandpaper after a few miles. Hitting my goal (<2 hours) was tempered by being exhausted and having bloody armpits/nipples.

Overall, meh.


6/29. Tried coke once, it was cool but not "sell your car good".


7/29. The only real perk is the momentary excitement you see when people first find out you have a PhD. Besides that, it's nothing too special.


8/29. I haven't had any alcohol in four months. I feel like it should be a big accomplishment for me considering how often/much I drank before. I guess the "meh" is just me keeping myself in check, some people quit for years and years and then one day out of nowhere they're right back in it.

Plus I feel like celebrating sobriety is kinda awkward.

"Hey guess what man, I haven't had a drink all month!" "Ok..." "No you don't get it I was a pretty severe alcoholic for a long time." "Congrats?" "Thanks!"

That's how I'd imagine those conversations turning out.


9/29. Having kids. I wanted kids my whole entire life and now that I have my son, I kind of think 'meh'. Of course I love him, but it didn't change my life in any massive way like I thought it would. I'm kind of still me, but now I've pushed a tiny person out of my vagina.


10/29. I have snowmobiled since I was a child, and started with a very old scorpion 350 sled. When I was a kid, I used to ride this place around La Pine, OR called Paulina Peak. There is a huge lava and obsidian flow up there, and when it gets covered in tons of snow it was known as the "roller coaster" (story continued on the next page...).

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I tried for years to make it to the top of the roller coaster with the old scorpions I was using at the time, and could never do it.

Fast forward about 12 years. I buy a new sled at the time, and I make a trip with some family to go ride at Paulina Peak. Sled technology has changed a ton since the 1970's when my old scorpion was made, and it showed - I made it to the top without even going wide open on the throttle. Basically just putted up there. Definitely kind of meh.


11/29. I caught all the Pokemon. All 150 of them. I had Red version and my friend had Blue. He helped me by trading me the ones I couldn't get. There's that guy in Saffron City who says he'll give you a prize of you catch them all. We were so excited - thought he would give us Mew or something amazing. Nope. A certificate to print on a Gameboy printer. Meh.


12/29. When I finally turned 21 and was able to drink in America. When you've been drinking with friends since you were 16, it really isn't a big deal when you're finally able to do it legally.

Plus, clubs suck. They're expensive, you have to "dress up" to go to them, and the people who frequent them suck.


13/29. Having a threesome, the girls had a good time and so did I but the whole things a little overrated.


14/29. Losing my virginity. Sex is great, its one of my favorite hobbies, but its not as big of a deal as people make it seem.


15/29. I got my skydiving A license. Took me a little over a year and 1/2 because of the expense. I did my final jump for the license while sick with a head cold and ended up not being able to hear out of my left ear for 3 days. That was the last jump I've made and it was over a year ago. I guess it being a painful jump just kinda gave me a meh feeling about jumping again.


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16/29. Making six figures. I used to be obsessed with it in my 20's, the closer I got to the goal the less I cared about it. In fact by the time I crossed the six figure mark I hadn't even realized it until I was doing my taxes and my actual reaction was just a "oh... neat".


17/29. Was tripping on shrooms next to a creek. Everyone was trying to climb up on this big rock but couldn't because of the shrooms. I decide to take a stab at it and make it up on top and everyone is cheering and laughing and happy. I sit down on my throne only to realize it had been getting direct sunlight and was pretty hot and uncomfortable. So I hopped off and said well it was a fun journey but not what I wanted (the 5 minutes it took felt like days). I then used it as a metaphor for life or something like that. Shrooms are weird man.


18/29. Graduating from college.


19/29. When I was in high school, I was ridiculed for having really patching facial hair. I made it my mission to one day have the bushiest, biggest beard imaginable. One day in my early 20s I looked in the mirror, realized I had achieved this, and just shrugged.

Don't get me wrong, I love my furry friend but it's nowhere near as big of a deal as I made it seem in my head.


20/29. After having sex, or reaching a certain point in the relationship which I've been looking forward, it's like..."gave over, you won". But not always, probably mostly with people who wouldn't have been 'right' anyway.


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21/29. Publish my first book.


22/29. Six pack abs

I have ridges on me belly now.

Big deal.

23/29. Ph.D. I was under the impression there would be some kind of free breakfast sandwich for life kind of thing. Nope.

Also, the only person who calls me "doctor" is my mom.


24/29. I ran a marathon.

It's a great achievement to do, but all it takes is to be fit, and a few weeks of training to get your legs used to distance and then run really fricking slowly for just under 5 hours.

It's cool to achieve it but the doing it part was pretty boring. Running real slow, hour after hour after hour.


25/29. I always wanted to be a ballerina, on my tip toes looking graceful. Even though I was "too old" at the age of 16 to get into it I still took the beginner classes despite the rest of the girls being like 7 or 8. It was awkward as hell looking like a clumsy ostrich compared to the little girls but I was determined. Finally after three years I managed to get up to pointe shoe level. Fuck, that shit hurt and wasn't worth the passive aggressive remarks I got from the dance moms. I'll never be a beautiful swan but at least my feet won't be gnarly.


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26/29. Most of what I have done in gaming.


27/29. All my GPA-related goals. I'm never satisfied.


28/29. There is actually a name for this, the hedoic treadmill. Basically no matter how good or bad you have it eventually you will even out to a meh feeling. A great example of this is when buying a new car, the first week it is better than sex, the second week it is your favorite possession. the third week it is a damn good ride and after the forth week it is just your car. The longer you have something the less special it is.


29/29. Published a scientific paper as first author. I had been chasing that for years, made a ton of sacrifices, imagining how awesome it would be when all my work finally came to fruition, and when it happened..."meh". Now I have 4 such papers, and at this point none of it matters because I don't intend to go to grad school to continue my science career.



"It wasn't me!"

There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.

Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked:

Redditors who were once considered suspect of a crime they did not commit, what's it like being held under suspicion and how did it affect your life?

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