By Federica Mirra (PGR Studio)
Last week we welcomed the new PGRs from Arts, Design and Media with presentations and activities to get to know each other and approach the PhD journey in a fun and inclusive way. The PhD is a roller coaster, one day you feel you are on top of the world, and two days later you are screaming thinking about your upcoming deadline! But do not fear, we have a Top 10 Tips for you!
1) Trust the process!
You have been chosen by trained academics who think you are capable of doing a PhD. Trust them and trust this winding and challenging ride!
2) Set boundaries between work and free time
You will soon realise that the PhD is not just your 8-5 job, but your own baby, who needs constant attention! Take weekends off and take a break when you need it.
3) Reward yourself
The PhD is fun, but it can be frustrating at times! Make sure to acknowledge your achievements and celebrate your successes.
4) Understand the stretching term of ‘research’
Doing a PhD is not just reading and writing. Emails, paperwork, seminars, a chat with another PGR are also essential to your academic and professional development.
5) Don’t compare yourself with others
Your research is unique and so are you! Remind yourself that everyone has their own pace, routines and needs. It would be too boring otherwise, wouldn’t it?
6) Learn to say NO!
Don’t overload yourself with too many tasks and learn to speak your mind aloud. Pushing yourself can be very rewarding, but no need to burn down.
7) Be realistic
Ambition and perfectionism are often associated with being a researcher, but if you want to survive these three years, you will need to be realistic and set S(pecific)M(easurable)A(chievable)R(ealistic)T(imely) tasks.
8) Surround yourself with friends and peers
The journey of a PGR can be lonely, so make the most of your PGRs community! The PGR Studio’s activities are great opportunities for social engagement at university and outside the campus too (check our events online).
9) You are not alone
By sharing your problems, doubts and anxieties you will soon realise that many people around you go through similar phases and have akin feelings. Sharing is caring.
10) Enjoy the roller coaster!
Despite the tight turns, steep slopes and scary inversions, roller coasters are much fun! Read as broadly as you can, experiment with your writing and practice and make the most of the expertise of your supervisors. Finally, enjoy the ride!