A PhD is a lot about learning. Although I am ‘really’ working for ‘real’ money; and I feel (and act) like a scientist, there is the ‘student’ part in PhD-student that should never be neglected.
Although I am not truly a baby animal that needs to learn to make its first few steps in the dangerous world, there is a lot of stuff out there to learn for a scientist. That learning process needs some time and, at least as important, it needs some more experienced people to learn it from.
I am convinced I would never have gotten as far as I am now without the combined input and support of so many people. And still, there is a lot more that the ‘student’-part of me needs to learn from my supervisors before I feel I can truly call myself a scientist.
But there also is another side to this: the PhD is the time to learn new methodologies and spend time trying (and failing). As your academic career continues, you will have less and less time to dive into a topic or a method. You will have gotten faster and better at performing most relevatn tasks, but to reach that level, big chuncks of time are needed to get truly familiar with it.
So I am glad I am not thrown out there just like that and that I can carry the name of student for a little while longer. In the meantime, I’ll just try to get as much out of it as possible!
You are right. Enjoy this one time in your career when you can focus on just the science.
Thanks, I will make that my main goal :)!