Surviving your PhD

Well, Ph.D can be frustrating and exhausting at times, its nothing new. Whenever you feel like you are working in a loop on the same problem, without a way out, remember that these blocks are part of a Ph.D. In the 3, 5 years of your Ph.D, the time spent in the lab is usually from 9am to 9 pm. Some say that a Ph.D. costs you your life others say it’s just like any other job but any how you have to manage the time you really want to pour into your research.

5 tips for making it through the PhD:

1. Don’t be too hard on yourself
The sole purpose of Ph.D. is finding a way to answer your research question, in an innovative and novel way that could prove that you are an independent researcher.

2. Take breaks & make friends
Don’t skip your lunch and remember browsing the internet does not count as a break. Get some fresh air, talk to a colleague or have coffee with a friend and have fun. The success of a Ph.D. is through the contribution of a great research group. After sitting all day behind your desktop, you need to get a good night’s rest. Find time for your friends and family as they are what truly matters in the end. And yes, eat healthy food.

3. Reaching out
If you are lucky to get funding, attend some conferences as it can be an eye-opener and you can make friends within the research community.

4. Find a routine & keep writing
No one will ever tell you to come to campus early, but try to come early in your lab. Having a routine of certain social activities can greatly help you in fixing a routine. Practice academic writing so that by the time you write your dissertation, you will become a fluent academic writer.

5. Read and teach
Read a lot related and outside to your topic and think out-of-the-box, and have a basic understanding of a broader field so that you can more easily follow conference presentations and have a fruitful conversation with other researchers. Also, teaching and supervising thesis students are incredibly rewarding as it helps you to brush up your fundamentals.

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