Are you thinking about applying to a PhD program? Are you already a doctoral student? PhD is a huge investment of time and money. So make sure you spend 15 minutes of your time reading this blog devoted to PhD program success and survival tips. I'm confident that these tips can save up to 10 years of your life, up to $1,000,000 of your money, and, most importantly, your physical and emotional health.

Friday, February 26, 2010

You need to go out!

Many PhD students decide to abandon their social life at least at some points of their program. For me it was the time before my prelims. I didn't go out almost two months. The second period was during dissertation stage. I would probably go out no more than once every month. I always felt - how can I go out and have fun when I have prelims/dissertation proposal/dissertation defense coming up soon?

Now that I look back I think this was the most serious mistake I made as a PhD student. PhD program is a marathon. For most people the marathon lasts more than 4 years. If you deprive yourself of social life at any point, you may be more productive for a week or two. But this will hurt your motivation and emotional health in the long run. Here's why. First, you have to take your mind off your work regularly. This is the most obvious reason for not isolating oneself for more than a week. Secondly, if you don't go out for too long, you may lose your relationships with friends. And then when you are ready to go out, there will be no one to go out with. Everyone would move on with their lives and you will be on your own. Not only this will deprive you of fun, it will also deliver a serious psychological blow. You will start thinking "I've lost everything because of the program: time, money, friends!".

So don't make this mistake. By the way, I've known quite a few people who survived through their programs in spite of everything being against them simply by getting drunk like a pig every week. Although you have to be careful with this, as you well know.

12 comments:

  1. Whenever i see the post like your's i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for other's. thanx and good job.

    Finance Dissertation Proposal

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, this is quite useful. I love economics and study but the main reason why I´m not sure to apply to a Phd is that i may loose my social life completely or I will get a new one full of geeks only. Is this true or a mith? How can i obtain more information about the topic?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes it is true.

    1. You will be surrounded by geeks, and not the funny kind you find on Big Bang Theory.

    2. You will be surrounded by foreign students, mostly Chinese who speak broken English and have their own culture.

    I am a science Ph.D, overall I find economic Ph.D and humanities Ph.Ds much more tolerable and social than science kids.

    ReplyDelete
  4. guys, this is SO true ... it's like i wrote these things...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Go out! I'm always telling my PhD fellows the same thing!! But in my case I think its the other way around! I go out way too much (didn't have much fun on my BA so I suppose I was kinda compensating??) and I don't want to spend all day stuck in the office...yet my supervisor still says I'm one of her best students...(probably not for long if I keep on this way)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Dissertation Topics

    ReplyDelete
  7. it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Actually, you *need* to stay in, because, frankly, everybody hates a quitter. There really is not a single job in the world where it would be a desirable quality to quit when it gets tough. None. So, grind through, stop complaining and get it done.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have prelims/dissertation proposal/dissertation defense coming up soon.
    psychology dissertation ideas

    ReplyDelete
  10. I really impressed by reading this article. In future, you should be giving information about it more. I must have to admire you for this extra ordinary section of work.Tuxedo for men

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with you that grad student should need to go out every once in a while to have a break. It can certainly refresh your mind that would be a big thesis help so that you can think straight, and at the same time have time for other things that you want to do in your life. Anyway, this would certainly be good if people in grad school can read it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The previous comments seem to be one-sided. Your article is really good. Dissertation Help UK

    ReplyDelete