Are you studying for your doctorate? Then it may feel like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders. The PhD life can be tough, after all.
But don’t despair! As well as offering an outstanding proofreading service, we’ve prepared this handy PhD survival guide.
1. Learn Your Stress Signs
Stress is bad for your health. And studying for a PhD can be stressful. It is therefore vital to recognize stress so that you know when to do something about it (even if it is just taking a break). Look out for:
Feeling like you always have too much to do
Feeling inadequate or worrying about being “found out”
We’re not saying you have to turn into a gym-obsessed fitness fanatic. But a having a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and doing a little exercise will help you feel physically and mentally strong.
3. Don’t Suffer Alone
Compared to undergraduate life, where you often attend classes and lectures with fellow students, studying for a PhD can involve long hours working alone in the library or at home.
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This can leave you feeling isolated, as if you have to do everything by yourself. But this isn’t true. Your academic advisor or professor should be able to answer any questions you have about your work.
And don’t be afraid to talk to your friends and family. They might not be able to resolve your academic problems, but they can definitely provide valuable moral and emotional support!
4. Grow a Thick Skin
Every doctoral student will receive critical feedback during his or her studies. It’s part of the process. The question is how you respond to this feedback. On this note, you have two main options:
Take it personally and refuse to speak to your advisor for three months, after which you’re wildly behind and have no idea what to do next
Learn to accept criticisms and learn from them, using this experience to revise your research and making vital academic progress as a result
The first one is easier in the short term, we admit, but the second is much better overall. Keep in mind that your academic advisor should always be trying to help you. If you truly believe they’re being unnecessarily critical, you may even want to look at finding someone else to supervise your work.
5. There Is Life Beyond Your PhD
Your PhD is important. But a little perspective is a good thing, too, and it helps to remember that there is a world outside your academic bubble. Schedule regular time off. Catch up with friends. Volunteer. Do whatever it takes to help take your mind off your work for at least a little while.
As well as helping you stay sane, taking time off like this can boost creativity and productivity. So sometimes it might even help you solve the problem that was stressing you out in the first place.