by Elke Close ¦

Exciting times are ahead. Slowly the sun is gracing us with its presence, Eurovision is only a week away and the academic year is over, which means no more teaching, marking or occupying yourself with other additional tasks that keep you from focusing on what is really important (ahum): your research. However, with the changing weather you might find yourself being drawn away from the dark, grim and cold room in which the only source of light is your computer screen. Whenever this happens, you will end up feeling guilty because – of course as a good PhD student – you really ought to be spending all of your free time working on your thesis. As has been pointed out in a previous post about trying not to feel too guilty when you are actually enjoying yourself away from research, this idea that PhD student have to work all the time, is fiction and more importantly, rather unhealthy. It is necessary to step away from your thesis, computer or lab to go out and enjoy yourself. Sometime the best way to do so is to head to the pub and grab a drink. But what does your favourite drink of choice say about you (and your research)?


Ah, the pint. This pub classic comes in different styles and varieties, which means that you enjoy trying and tasting these different beers. In general, you are pretty easy going and can deal with the changes that come your way during your PhD journey: you don’t mind having to scrap that argument if it doesn’t make sense. While you don’t generally tend to overcomplicate your writing style, preferring to keep it clear and to the point, you can see the appeal in switching it up every now and then and interjecting a rather long and complex sentence. After all, just because you love a good pint of Guinness, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Hoegaarden in the summer.


Red or White? This choice may seem small to someone who is not a wine drinker, but for you it is elementary. You know which you want and when to drink it. The same goes for your research, you don’t tend to spend endless hours thinking about a new structure for your thesis because you quickly know what makes sense and what does not. Your writing style is rather elaborate and creative but still coherent, and you enjoy the occasional anecdotal episode to open your argument or chapter.

Gin & Tonic (or other mixers/cocktails)

First of all, there is a very good chance that you are British (at least if I was writing this blog post ten years ago). You like trying different drinks and do not have to stick with the same one for the entire evening. When it comes to your research, you have tried all of the latest research methods and know all of the online tools and apps that help you write better and easier or the best website to find that source/book without having to go to the library.


You do not mess around. You are extremely driven when it comes to your dissertation and will probably have it finished in no time. You don’t mind getting up at six in the morning to start your research bright and early as you enjoy it (the reason why completely passes me by to be honest). Yet, while you can work hard, you do also take the time to play hard. When you decide that you are done for the day, or you deserve a break in general, you don’t shy away from your favourite poison – sometimes with the result that you have to take it easy the next day.


Not everyone likes or wants to drink alcohol. You realise that it is important to stay hydrated when doing your research. You are a sober individual (see what I did there…) when it comes to your pub visits as well as your research. You won’t brag about your abilities as an academic and are always honest about how the PhD is going. You are confident in yourself and your project, but that does not mean that you take yourself seriously all the time; just because you drink water that does not mean you don’t know how to have fun. After all, the very reason why you’re sticking to water may be because you had a little too much fun the night before.

Caffeine (in its many forms)

For more insight in what your choice of caffeine says about you, click here to find out!


Elke Close is on the verge of finishing her PhD in Classics at the University of Edinburgh and is working on the influence of the Greek polis of Megalopolis on the ancient federal state known as the Achaean koinon. She is ISHA International’s Webmaster and Pubs and Publication’s Contributions Editor. You can find her on her or university pages or on twitter as @ElkeClose. She has recently also started an instagram account and Facebook page dedicated to the history and archaeology of Hellenistic Greece.

(c) Image 1:; (c) Image 2:; (c) Image 3: Gemma Correll; (c) Image 4:; (c) Image 5: