[Neoliberalism] has pervasive effects on ways of thought to the point where it has become incorporated into the common-sense way many of us interpret, live in, and understand the world.1

My critical autoethnographic account reflects on the lived experience of being a PhD scholar inhabiting a neoliberal public education space. It is written from a position of caste and class privilege, mindful of the trials and tribulations of less privileged fellow research scholars, who face unimaginable obstacles in the pursuit of their doctoral degrees. The attempt is not just to highlight the inconvenience caused to me but to reflect on the structures erected by neoliberalism that make pursuing a PhD a traumatic experience prone with vulnerabilities. I reflect on the precarity of doing a PhD in a public university in India after the normative age, the resulting anxiety, and notions of care.

When I discussed my plans of pursuing...

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