Working as a PhD student has its downsides. The pay, for example, compares quite poorly to jobs in the industry. This comparison is similar to comparing universities based on rankings in the Times or ARWU alone – unjust and incomplete. When you compare the pay with what PhD’s in other countries get, my university turns out to be not that bad after all. Plus there’s the health benefits. I don’t mean participation in a sponsored health insurance programme (for the American readers – this is standard in Europe), I’m talking about the increase in (healthy) life expectancy gained with additional education. Apparently, there’s a strong correlation between the level of education you have and the (healthy) life expectancy. By graduating from a university I have added a couple of years to my life expectancy, which is nice. But even nicer is the fact that (statistically speaking of course) I’ve gained over 6 years in healthy life expectancy. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. Of course, some people will not fail to point out that those were exactly the years I’ve spent in university, but hey – those weren’t the worse years to gain!